The first automatic NCAA mark for the University of Indianapolis men’s and women’s track and field teams this indoor season was set on Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Taylor University Invitational.
Sophomore Joshua Bass claimed the first mark, after jumping a distance of 7.76 meters in the long jump. The Greyhounds also set another NCAA provisional mark at the invitational, following junior Kyle Schwartz’s performance in the 400-meter dash. Schwartz finished at 49.59 in the dash to achieve the mark.
It was a cold and windy day outside the weekend prior, on Saturday, Jan. 25, but inside it was the right temperature for both teams at the Athletics and Recreation Center to compete in the Greyhound Classic.
UIndy recorded six NCAA provisional marks in weight throw and shot put. For the men, senior TJ Lovejoy threw 17.99 meters in the weight throw, while seniors Joshua Bridwell and Shane Wyant threw 15.95 meters and 15.86 meters, respectively, in shot put. For the women, senior Tatiana Zhuravleva attained two provisional marks with a 17.77 meter weight throw and a shot put throw of 13.5 meters. Junior Farin Hickman achieved a mark in the weight throw with a distance of 16.77 meters.
Lovejoy took third in the men’s weight throw and fifth in shot put at the meet and said he was content with the results.
“[Saturday] was a good day. With it being the first meet of the season, it was a good opener for me. It showed me what areas I improved on and what areas I need to work on,” Lovejoy said.
There were several highlights in the women’s sprints, with a second-place finish in the 60-meter run by junior LaTisha Martin and junior Camille Edwards taking runner up in the 60-meter hurdles. Martin and Edwards took first and second, respectively, in the 200-meter run.
In the distance events, sophomore Kameron Casey placed second in the 5000-meter run and Schwartz achieved first place in the 400-meter dash. For the women’s team, sophomore Haley Baughman finished second in the 5000-meter run, while freshman Erin Connor took second in the 400-meter dash. Senior Sutton Knapp, junior Jacklyn Howland, sophomore Jasmine Al-Anzi and graduate student Emily Bernstein swept second through fifth place, respectively, in the 3000-meter run.
After being red-shirted last season, Howland said she has several goals for this season.
“Personally, I’d like to score in conference in either the 3k, 5k or both and keep improving my times,” she said. “Since I red-shirted all track season last year, anything is an improvement. But I’d like to get a new PR in the 5k for cross country and track.”
With placing in almost every event, Head Track and Field Coach Scott Fangman said that there are several goals the teams aspire to accomplish.
“We feel that we owe this university a certain tradition or responsibility, so a conference championship is something we have our eyes on,” he said. “Our highest goals we probably have are for our outdoor season.”
The men’s team at the time was ranked No. 13 in the nation, and Fangman said that the outdoor season is where that ranking holds true.
“We’re not 13th in indoor. We are in outdoor, and we’re probably better than that. We’re possibly in the top ten of the country. We’ve also got great individuals on the girls’ side who will help carry us to finish top 20,” Fangman said. “We actually have potentially four national qualifiers in just discus alone for the women.”
Lovejoy also said he has high expectations for the indoor and outdoor teams.
“You might say it’s an early prediction, but I think the men will bring home a national championship as a whole. If it doesn’t happen indoor, it will definitely happen in the outdoor season, and that is what I want for us—for the seniors to go out with a boom and for the underclassmen to see the potential they have,” Lovejoy said. “I want to leave behind a legacy—one of hard work, success, fun and dedication that will be told long after we leave the university.”
Although there is anticipation for the outdoor season, Fangman said there are many athletes to watch this indoor season.
“These are some of the best people that have competed at the University of Indianapolis. Zhuravleva, she could be, in school’s history, the best all-around thrower we’ve ever had. She stands a very good chance of being All-American in both weight toss and shot put and a national champion in one. I really think Edwards will have both records in the hurdles and long jump by the time she leaves here,” Fangman said. “Joshua Bass is already a two time All-American in long jump and is back doing well. [Senior] Blaze Hurley is an All-American pole vaulter. Lovejoy has qualified for nationals. He’s just not an All-American yet, but I think he’s going to get there.”
Both teams will compete this Saturday, Feb. 8, in the ARC in the UIndy Relay Open at a time to be determined.