Splitting up the teams, members of the University of Indianapolis track and field teams took part in the Hilsdale Wide Track Classic and the Indiana Wesleyan Midwest Classic on Feb. 3.
The throwers traveled to Hilsdale which featured wins by redshirt junior thrower Katie Monk and redshirt junior thrower Austin Hogan. Monk took hoe first in shotput, as well as breaking a school record in weight throw. Monk previously set the school record in Dec. at 19.07 meters, and broke it with a throw of 10.47 meters. Hogan also placed second in throws at 17.18 meters and fourth in weight throws with 17.67 meters.
Senior jumper Lindsey Foster, freshman fault Kylie Falcone, junior sprinter Brian Sales and sophomore sprinter John Chavis all placed in the Indiana Wesleyan as well.
Sales took first in the 400 meter followed by teammate Chavis in second. Chavis also placed second in the 200 meter. On the women’s side Falcone placed third in pole vault at 3.47 meters and Foster placed second in long jump at 5.56 meters.
Going into the Hillsdale and Indiana Wesleyan meets, both Monk and Hogan said that the team was looking forward to a change of environment after competing at home for four weekends.
“I think that traveling adds a different level of energy,” Hogan said. “Traveling and getting to see some other competition, it’s a little more formal. We get to represent the school somewhere else and so you’ve got that pride…that you get to demonstrate other places as well.”
While most of the team on the distance side took a mid-season rest weekend to help keep them healthy for the conference meet in April, Monk, Hogan and the other field team members competed to improve their marks, according to Robinson. Monk said that she focused on improving her technique, not only for the Hillsdale meet, but also in preparation for the conference meet.
“There’s always something to improve in your technique,” Monk said. “You always want to improve your marks, so you’ve always got to fix something, make something better, practice, get as many reps in as possible, quality reps. We also hit the weight room really hard. We’re always training.”
The Hounds ended a streak of home meets with the Tom Hathway Distance Classic on Jan. 26 and 27. UIndy hosted athletes from the University of Southern Indiana, Vincennes University, Marian University, Spalding University, Lindsey Wilson College, St. Mary-of-the-Woods College and several unattached athletes.
The men’s distance runners swept the top three places in the 60 meter dash with freshman jumper Brady Walden taking first followed by sophomore sprinter Andrew DeRidder in second and sophomore hurdler Kyle Jen in third. Senior hurdler Treyvon Matthews won the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 8.06 seconds, which also won him a provisional mark. Junior distance runner Taylor Kleyn took third in the mile with a time of 4:24.78. In the 5000 meter race, freshman distance runner Jacob Woodrow and senior distance runner Casey Wendorff won second and third respectively with times just under 16 minutes.
The women’s distance athletes also earned several first, second and third place finishes. Sophomore sprinter Isabel Bradley finished first in the 400 meter dash with a time of 59.42 seconds followed closely by junior hurdler Keri Ertel’s 1:01.82.
Bradley also placed second in the 200 meter dash. Senior hurdler Majaica Brooks placed first in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 9.28 seconds with Ertel taking second. Freshman distance runner Lauren Bailey placed first in the mile with a time of 5:16.44 and junior distance runner Mickayla Wenzel crossed the finish line just seconds later in third place. Wenzel, Bailey, Ertel and junior distance runner Briana Leonard also competed in the distance medley relay, breaking the previous meet record with a time of 12:31.08. The quad is in position to break the school record of 12:24.11 by the conference meet, according to Assistant Track and Field Coach Brad Robinson.
“Our ladies DMR [distance medley relay] has the conference leading mark overall right now in the distance medley relay in this part of the season, so that’s something to be proud of…” Robinson said. “…They should be fresh at conference. That should be the first event that they run so from that standpoint alone and then having another month to train, we feel very confident that the time’s going to be lowered and hopefully it will be at least an official school record if nothing else at that point in time.”
On the field side of the competition, senior jumper Lindsey Foster won the long jump with a 5.59 meter jump and senior jumper Kirsti Reed placed third with 5.16 meters. Freshman vaulter Kylie Falcone, freshman jumper Izabelle Nelson and freshman vaulter Mary Costello tied for second the pole vault event with all three making 3.22 meter jumps. Junior jumper DeAndrew Bluitt won the high jump for the men, jumping 2.00 meters, and placed second in the triple jump with a 12.70 meter jump.
Freshman thrower Katrinia Hopkins placed third in the women’s shot, throwing 12.54 meters while Monk placed second with a throw of 14.09 meters. Monk also took third in the weight throw, throwing 18.88 meters, and earned provisional marks in both of her events. Senior thrower Jordan Boyd placed second in the shotput, throwing 15.40 meters, topped only by Hogan, who threw 17.45 meters, which earned him a provisional mark. Hogan also won the weight throw at 18.62 meters and earning another provisional mark. Boyd placed third, by throwing 16.22 meters. Hogan said that his performance in the shotput had seen improvement since the beginning of the season.
“I was really struggling with the shot,” Hogan said. “This year, I’ve been multiple feet under my PR [personal record] from last year—and that was the beginning of the season—but I finally got back into the swing of things. I really focused on it this last week and I was within 5cm of my best ever, so [I’m] glad it paid off.”
With the indoor season more than halfway over, the team is starting to shift their attention to the conference meet and the national championship. Robinson said that there are four teams on both the men’s and women’s sides that have the potential to win the conference title, and that the team is working toward being able to take home the conference championship.
“We still feel, if nothing else, on both sides we can be very competitive at the conference meet and try to go for that conference title,” Robinson said. “Particularly since we’re hosting it [the conference meet], that adds a little extra pride that we definitely want to be the ones walking away with that championship in the end.”
Monk said that she would like to see the team win the conference championship. Hogan also said that he believes the team can pull a win at the conference meet.
“I really want a conference shirt. I’m tired of seeing Lewis, or last year it was McKendree, just walking away with it,” Hogan said. “Since I’ve been here, we’ve been getting closer and closer every year, so I truly believe that this is our year.”
Before the conference meet, the Hounds will compete in five more regular indoor season meets, starting with the GVSU Big Meet in Allendale, MI on Feb. 9 and the UIndy Invitational on Feb. 10.