indoor track & field
Beavers Make Strong Late-Night Showingby Nate Smith
A chance to shine under the night lights of Anderson University's brand-new indoor track facility brought out primetime performances from many of the Bluffton College track and field athletes on Saturday night.
The Bluffton women paced the strong team showing by finishing second out of nine squads in the meet, while the men kept pace by placing fourth out of ten, in a meet that featured five of the six HCAC schools. A total of nine indoor school records were broken in the meet, six from the women's team and all three of the men's relay marks.
"This is the first time we have been able to exhibit some true depth through all the women's events," commented Head Coach Derek Stanley. "That showing really bodes well for the future of our women's program. And I can't say enough about the gutsy effort displayed today by all three of our men's relay squads."
That impressive showing by the men's relays began in the first track event of the evening, the 800 meter relay. Due to an error by the starter, Bluffton's leadoff leg, Ryan Nusbaum, was left sitting in the blocks when the race started. There was no recall of the heat, which resulted in a win by Hanover. The Beavers were allowed to then run the race by themselves, and despite no present competition to push them, wound up winning the event by over one full second. That team of Nusbaum, Jason Lehman, Colby Bright, and Al Pearson, also ended up shaving nearly a full second off the school record in the event.
The Beavers' men had one other event winner on the evening, junior Clint Dillon in the pole vault. Despite an off-night, Dillon was able to win the competition by clearing 14 feet. The men also received top performances from freshmen Al Pearson, Dan Rosebrock, and Jeremy King. All three men placed second in their respective events with season-best marks. Pearson ran 53.20 in the 400 meters, then led off the school record-setting 1600 meter relay team that also included Lehman, Rosebrock, and Troy Baumer (3:35.06). Rosebrock, meanwhile, finished with a 2:04.08 in the 800 meters, after running an 800 meter split of 2:03 in the school record-setting distance medley team that included Andy Schiefer, Floyd Ward, and Steve Borga (11:26.10). King had his best performance of the season by clearing 6' 4" in the high jump, the best jump so far this season in the HCAC.
Other notable marks for the Beavers included: Troy Baumer (55HH - 8.65, 55m - 6.92); Fred Yoder (PV - 12' 6"), Randy Hart (PV - 12' 0"), Jason Lehman (LJ - 19' 10.25"), Colby Bright (LJ - 19' 8.75"), Jeff Lehman (SP - 39' 10.5", WT - 34' 8.25"), and Travis Lepley (SP - 39' 7.75", WT - 33' 6").
As for the record-setting women, their total of 89.67 points in the meet was impressive, more so considering the absence of sophomore Amanda Habegger. Once again leading the charge of breaking school records was freshman sprinter Rita Muether.
Muether captured the 200 and 400 meter records during the evening, making her the current holder of every indoor sprint record through 400 meters. Her performances were good enough for third in both events, and she also led off the 1600 meter relay team with Kirstie Dravenstott, Laurel Miller, and Stephanie Welch. That team finished fourth in a time of 4:28.90, breaking the old indoor record by nearly eight full seconds.
Miller and Welch also highlighted the effort by the women's team by each winning events. Miller captured first in the 55 meter hurdles (9.52), while Welch finished first in the high jump (4' 11.75"). Miller also finished second in the triple jump with a new indoor school-record of 32' 2", and Welch added to her night with a fourth-place finish in the long jump (14' 5.25") and a sixth-place finish in the 800 meters (2:37.57).
The women also received top performances from sophomore Jana Hammer and freshman Marquita Miller, who finished third (8.01) and fourth (8.07) in the 55 meters, respectively. Miller also placed second in the long jump (14' 8.75") and fifth in the 200 meters (28.76). Sophomore Michele Bailey was also impressive with a new school-record throw in the weight at 40' 0.75", and freshman Jennifer Creamer established a new standard in the women's 5000 meters, placing fifth in a time of 20:08.40.
Other notable marks from the women included: Kirstie Dravenstott (HJ - 4' 9.75", TJ - 29' 4"), Rachel Noirot (PV - 7' 6"), and Megan Beach (SP - 34' 1.25", WT - 34' 8.5").
Both teams will having select individuals competing at the Findlay Open, February 14, and the All-Ohio Indoor Championships, February 15. The entire squad will return to action on Friday, February 21, at Ohio Northern.