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Track and field competes at invitationals

Posted on 04.10.2013

The University of Indianapolis men’s and women’s track and field teams have been busy transitioning into the 2013 outdoor season after having had a successful indoor season. On April 7, the Greyhounds competed at the Bellarmine Invitational, posting five National Collegiate Athletic Association provisional marks.

The men had four of the five provisional marks earned by the Hounds. Senior Robert Gardner led the men by posting provisional marks in both the 400-meter race with a time of 47.39, which is currently 11th best in the NCAA Division II. In the 4×100-meter race, Gardner joined freshmen Joshuah Bass and Quinntyn Qualls, and senior Jerel Flournoy to post a provisional mark with a time of 41.17. Gardner also posted another provisional time alongside Flournoy, Qualls and sophomore Kyle Schwartz in the 4×400-meter race, with a time of 3:12.59, which is currently ninth best in the NCAA Division II. Junior T.J. Lovejoy placed third in the hammer with a provisional toss of 57.74 meters, which is currently eighth best in the nation.

Sophomore Sydney Weinert posted the first NCAA provisional mark for the women this season in the high jump, with a leap of 1.72 meters. The leap is currently tied for eighth in the NCAA Division II.

The Greyhounds also competed in Toledo, Ohio, at the Toledo Collegiate Challenge on March 30, where the men placed fifth and the women placed eleventh.

UIndy overall had three individuals and two relay teams make provisional marks during the tournament.  The men’s 4×100-meter relay squad, featuring Bass, Flournoy, Gardner and Qualls, put up a NCAA provisional mark with a time of 40.99, placing first in the event. The men’s 4×400-meter team, featuring Flournoy, Gardner, Qualls and Schwartz, put up a provisional mark as well, with a time of 3:13.05 to win that event. In the long jump, Bass made a provisional mark of 7.34 meters and won the event. Lovejoy also made a provisional mark in the hammer, with a throw of 57.58 meters. In the pole vault, junior Jacob Aldrich finished for the Greyhounds with a provisional mark of 4.80 meters.

The Greyhounds also competed at the Hanover Invitational on March 30, and the men placed eighth and the women fourth. Leading the women with first place finishes at the invitational were senior Stephanie Cave, who won the women’s 5,000 meters, sophomore Corinna Raypole in the 100 hurdles and freshman Haley Baughman in the 3,000 steeplechase.

Prior to the start of the outdoor season, the highlight of the indoor season was senior Ryan Smith’s national championship performance in the men’s shot put at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Along with Smith’s championship, Gardner earned an All-American title in the 400-meter dash with a sixth place finish. Gardner then ran the 4×400-meter relay with teammates senior Jermel Kindred, Flournoy and Qualls. The relay team finished sixth, earning All-American status.  Gardner is now a seven-time All-American.

According to Head Track and Field Coach Scott Fangman, the outdoor season is a little different than the indoor season. The outdoor season includes events such as javelin, discus, two hurdle races, the steeplechase and the 400-meter hurdles.

“Those [events] are stronger events for us,” Fangman said. “We’re actually a better outdoor team than indoor because of events like those.”

Fangman said that redshirting athletes will make the outdoor team a little different than the team that competed in the indoor season.

“The guys we’re redshirting for the outdoor season scored a lot of points for us indoor,” Fangman said.

Smith will redshirt this season for the Hounds. Although he will not be competing this season, Fangman said that Smith’s leadership and work ethic have rubbed off on his teammates.

“Ryan [Smith] is not a vocal leader by any stretch of the imagination, but he is a leader by example,” Fangman said.

The women’s team will also redshirt several athletes this season, but Fangman said that the student athletes still add to a tough team. According to Fangman, there are no standout athletes on the women’s team, but the team as a whole is tough to beat.

“They run in a pack,” Fangman said. “If you beat one of my hurdlers, you’ve beaten four of them. But if you can’t beat the fourth one, you’re not beating the first one.”

Sophomore sprinter LaTisha Martin said that the team’s goals are set high, and they are looking forward to the outdoor season.

“I love outdoor season,” Martin said. “Everybody on the team wants to go to nationals this year.”

The first meet of the outdoor season, the Mike Poehlein Invitational at Purdue University, which was supposed to take place on March 29-30, was canceled. The Greyhounds were hoping to use the tough competition at that tournament to gauge where they are coming into the season.

The next meet for the Greyhounds will be on April 12-13 at the Little State Championships at Indiana Wesleyan.


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