The University of Indianapolis men and women’s track teams achieved four provisional marks while hosting and competing in the Indianapolis Challenge on Jan. 30 and Jan. 31 in the Athletics and Recreation Center.
Senior Alex Cushman ran a time of 8:23.5 in the 3000 meter, which earned him a provisional mark and also broke his school record in the event. Senior TJ Lovejoy hit his mark in the weight throw with a throw of 19.18 meters.
For the women, senior Farin Hickman earned two marks, one in the shotput with a throw of 13.29 and the other with a 17.17-meter throw in the weight throw.
Both Lovejoy and Hickman were also named Grand Lakes Valley Conference Field Athletes of the Week on Wednesday, Jan. 28.
Lovejoy’s best mark of 19.50 meters in the weight throw has him currently ranked first in the conference and Hickman’s 13.54-meter toss in shotput has her also ranked first the conference as well as in the top 16 on the NCAA list.
With a great amount of success in her seasons at UIndy, Hickman said that the desire to do well is what pushes her to rise to the top.
“For some reason if I imagine myself doing something, eventually it happens. If I want it bad enough, I always find a way to get it done. God has given me an unusual combination of skills to get me further in throwing and I couldn’t be more thankful.”
The Greyhounds also hosted the Greyhound Classic the week before on Jan. 24, collecting four provisional marks throughout the weekend.
Hickman hit marks of 17.16 meters in the weight throw and 13.69 meters in the shot put. Junior Lissette Mendivil also hit a mark in the weight throw with a throw of 16.56 meters.
For the men, Lovejoy achieved a mark with a 19.15-meter throw in the weight throw. Lovejoy also hit another mark in the weight throw the day before at the Indiana University Gladstein Invitational with a throw of 19.5 meters. Cushman broke the school record in the 3000 meter run at the Gladstein Invitational with a time of 8:30.63.
Last week, Cushman was ranked sixth in the nation in the 5000 meter run. He said he hopes to continue decreasing his time in that event, along with others. To do so, Cushman said his practices consist of fast intervals.
“It’s all about strategically taking my mileage either up or down. We’re doing a lot more speed workouts because I’m usually a 10,000 meter runner for cross country and track. So the 5000 and 3000 races are pretty much like a sprint for me. This season is focused on a lot more quick and shorter intervals,” Cushman said. “I would like to be under the 14:30’s for my 5K and maybe just under 8:20 for the 3K.The indoor season is pretty short, but I would really like to get the school record for my team in the distance medley relay.”
Almost all the indoor season meets, including the GLVC Championships, are hosted in the Athletics and Recreation Center at UIndy. Head Track and Field Coach Scott Fangman said that the facility has not only made the indoor season a bigger priority for both teams, but is contributing to their success nationally as well.
“We’re going to focus on the here and the now, and the reason is because we take the indoor season a lot more serious[ly] now than we ever have. That’s because of our facility, and because of this, we feel like there is a greater expectation for that kind of success,” Fangman said. “No one in our conference has as nice of a facility as we have. We’re after the conference, but we also want to compete at a national level, and any school worth anything nationally has something like what we have.”
Hickman said that being able to practice in the ARC has had a positive impact on her throwing these last few seasons.
“For me personally, the ARC has allowed me to better correct my throws by seeing where they land, not be thrown into a wall like my first year here,” Hickman said. “It’s much more relaxing going into a meet knowing about where you can throw rather than only waiting until you go to a meet to see your distance.”
The Greyhounds will travel next to Hillsdale College on Friday, Feb. 6, when they will compete in the Hillsdale Wide Track Classic. Competition that day, which has a starting time yet to be announced, will continue into the following day on Saturday, Feb. 7.