2013 Track and Field
2013 Track and Field Preview
Track and Field sports youth as Coach Brandt moves into year two
January 30, 2013
By: Evan Skilliter, sports information assistant
The Bluffton University Track and Field team will rely on a wealth of youth in 2013 with just eight of 36 athletes having achieved junior or senior status on a roster that has nearly doubled from last year's. An outstanding recruiting class of 24 freshmen has bolstered Coach Karen Brandt's squad as she moves into her second year.
Brandt is very excited about the size of the team. "Coming into the program in July 2011, we did not have a full season to cultivate recruits for the 2011-12 school year," said Brandt. "However, from what everybody tells me, the campus community is very happy about our numbers and that is extremely gratifying."
Brandt, who doubles as Bluffton's cross country head coach, will have four assistants on her staff. Brandt's husband, Jim Brandt, will coach mid-distance and distance runners. Jim also assists with the cross country team. Graduate assistant Bryson Hartzler will coach sprints and jumps after getting his feet wet with cross country in the fall. Keri McCoy handles hurdles, while assistant Travis Lepley will direct the throwers for his 10th straight season.
Anchoring the women's side are seniors Alison Janzen (Whitewater, Kan./Remington) and Maddie Moore (Linn Grove, Ind./South Adams). Janzen, a distance runner, will look to build on a successful fall cross country campaign in which she was named first team all-HCAC after breaking Bluffton's school record at Oberlin. She has already established a new 5000 meter indoor record this season.
"Our focus for Allison is good finishes at the conference championship in the 3000 meters and 5000 meters," said Coach Brandt. "I'm confident that she can be successful in either of those events."
Moore, a two-sport athlete that finished up a stellar soccer career in the fall, will be a force for the Beavers in mid-distance events. Moore already holds three Bluffton individual indoor records in the 1000m (3:20.60), mile (5:31.24) and the 3000m (11:07.65) and she's also a member of the distance medley relay (DMR) team that holds the school record with a time of 12:54.76.
"Maddie is an intrinsically talented young woman," said Brandt. "She can run well in the mile, 3000, or 5000. We'll have to see where we want her when the conference championship rolls around."
Chris Arnold (Ft. Wayne, Ind./Canterbury) and Jeremy Kidder (New Carlisle/Tecumseh) are the lone seniors on the men's side. Arnold will be counted on to provide leadership for a very young squad. "Chris has embraced the sport he's a good leader and an outstanding role model as far as work ethic," said Brandt. "Chris is constantly reminding our runners that it takes hard work to become better. He's always pushing them to press on and do the necessary work to succeed."
Kidder is in his fourth year on the squad and he will compete in mid-distance events. "I'm very proud of Jeremy for being here all four years," said Coach Brandt. "He's the heart and soul of this squad. I can always count on him to keep people lighthearted and laughing, but at the same time he works to ensure that they are also focused."
Underclassmen to watch for are Ryan Schadewald (Lima/Bath) and Kayla Mullenhour (Delphos/Jefferson). Schadewald, a sophomore, will compete in distance events after an outstanding 2012 cross country season in which he set a new school record with a time of 26:18.2 in the eight-kilometer race at Oberlin. A junior, Mullenhour is a member of the school-record holding DMR squad that put together a 12:54.78 in 2012 en route to a Heartland Conference championship and HCAC meet record last season.
Freshmen Colin McCloskey (Sylvania/Southview), who had an outstanding first campaign with cross country in the fall, and Kendall Weber (Wauseon) have established school records during their first month of competition at the collegiate level. McCloskey tops the indoor list for 3000m (9:08.29) and Weber holds the 60m high hurdles mark with a time of 9.61 seconds.
While competing at a high level on the track and the field is important, performing at a high level in the classroom is the primary goal for Coach Brandt. "I want those who achieved high GPA's the first semester to match or even improve this spring. I'm also expecting improved academic work from those who may have struggled during the fall," stated Brandt.
"Athletically, I want to see this group pick up the standard that last year's team set, which is giving their best at every single competition," continued Coach Brandt. "I expect to see us compete well as a team at the conference championship. In addition, I want to see more qualifiers for the All-Ohio Championship, but most of all I want to see our kids proud of the work they have done and the performances that they've left on the track."