The University of Indianapolis Track and Field team split this past weekend as the team’s sprinters traveled to Hillsdale College and the throwers made their way to Indiana Wesleyan University. Both groups competed on Saturday, Feb. 6, and the sprinters also competed on Friday, Feb. 5.
At Hillsdale, freshman Sarrina McKinley earned second in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:01.72. In the 60-meter dash for the men, junior Quinntyn Qualls took fifth in 7.04 seconds with senior Josh Bass right behind him with a time of 7.05 seconds. Bass also earned first in the long jump.
Freshmen Brian Sales and Allen Wright earned first and second, respectively, in the 400-meter dash. Senior Alex Cushman competed in the 3000-meter run and earned second with a time of 8:40.91. The Greyhounds 4×400 meter relay team earned second in 3:19.73. The team was made up of junior Connor Stouder, Wright, Sales and Qualls.
At IWU, junior Shaquelle Lewis earned second in the men’s shot put, throwing 16.17 meters. For the women, sophomore Katie Monk threw 13.79 meters to earn first.
In the weight throw, junior Vincent Ziraldo took first with a distance of 16.75 meters. Monk also earned first in the weight throw.
The weekend prior, UIndy remained at home in the Athletic Recreation Center as they competed in their own UIndy Track and Field Challenge on Jan. 29-30. Highlighting the meet for UIndy was junior pole vaulter Chelsea Wieland as she broke the school record in pole vaulting with a height of 3.41 meters.
“In high school, I really wanted the school record, [and] I barely missed that,” Wieland said. “So coming to college and finding out the school record, [I knew] that was my new goal. I’ve been working at that since freshman year. So I mean it was frustrating that it took three years to get that, but [it’s] also very exciting to finally get there. And now that I have it, I obviously don’t want to stop there. I want to push it up higher and keep my name on the record board a little bit longer, because there are other talented vaulters that could come up and get the record, too.”
The Greyhounds had two third-place finishes in the 60-meter dash from junior Melissa Rios and Qualls. Rios finished with a time of 7.97 seconds, and Qualls in 6.91 seconds. The two also were the best finishers for the Greyhounds in the 200-meter dash, with Qualls taking third in 22.39 seconds, and Rios finishing fourth in 26.83 seconds.
Sales finished in first place in the 600-meter run with a time of 1:21.95. Another first placer was junior Majaica Brooks in the 60-meter hurdles. The women’s distance relay team of senior Haley Havert, sophomore Briana Leonard, sophomore Michaela Harrison and freshman Hannah Batcherlor finished second with a time of 12:57.34. Bass and junior triple jumper Collin Craft each took first in their events. Junior Chelsea Yeadon grabbed second in long jump.
Head Track and Field Coach Scott Fangman acknowledges the goals the team has and how far they have come.
“Well we’d like to end the indoor with a conference championship and with All-Americans,” he said. “[Since the beginning of the season,] we have gotten faster, we are throwing further and we are jumping higher and further. We are doing those things all very well. [Our] maturity level is also increasing, [and] confidence is building.”
Cushman has the same mindset when it comes to the indoor championship.
“I think we should definitely be a contender for the conference title again [indoors],” Cushman said. “We [are] bring[ing] back a couple of good sprinters, and our sprint team has greatly improved since last year. Our distance team has remained strong as well. So we have a good shot at our younger guys getting even better in the conference meet, and hopefully by outdoor, we will definitely be fighting for that conference title. I feel like we can do the indoor, and I feel like it will be hard, but it [will] certainly [be] a challenge since our conference is as strong as it is.”
The Greyhounds have three indoor meets remaining before the GLVC Indoor Championship and before moving outdoors. Fangman said the transition from the indoor to the outdoor season is easier than one might imagine.
“We don’t have problems. We just go outside now. We do the same thing all over again,” Fangman said. “The implements that we change, we are good at. That is the thing we like about outdoor, because a lot of the times we are better as an outdoor team than an indoor team only because the events change. We go from the weight to the hammer. We throw two long-distance throws, the distance and the javelin. We run a long distance hurtle race now [outdoors] 400-meters. Those are all things that are truly in our wheelhouse.”
The Greyhounds will travel to Bloomington, Ind., to compete in the Indiana Hoosier Hills on Feb. 12.