2017 Track and Field
Webb wins pole vault at Tiffin Dragon Open
January 21, 2017
TIFFIN, Ohio - The Bluffton University thinclads traveled to Tiffin University to compete in the Dragon Open invitational. Again this week in a predominately Division 2 and NAIA scholarship-granting field, the Beavers showed their grit.
Junior D’Nae Reese (Columbus/Upper Arlington) continued her march toward the NCAA national championship with another monster weight throw, breaking her new school record set just last week. Reese placed 4th in the field of 28 competitors with her throw of 58’ 1.25” (17.71 meters). Senior Terrill Webb (Kenton) had the season breakthrough she has been working hard for, comfortably winning the pole vault competition with a clearance of 12’ 4” (3.76 meters). Both Reese and Webb did much to solidify their eventual qualification for nationals. Both women also now currently lead their respective lists for the All-Ohio Championship meet in February.
Junior transfer Willow Thompson (Arlington), after a two year hiatus from vaulting, proved her mettle today with a conference qualifying performance 10’ 4” (3.15 meters) which is but the harbinger of things to come. Improving on their previous qualifications for the HCAC championship meet were junior Kyle Knezovich (Utica) in a pair of events, the 60 meter hurdles (PR) and pole vault and freshman Stanley Williams (Sterling Heights, Mich./Chippewa Valley) at 200 meters (PR).
A number of other athletes had personal-record performances across a wide variety of events. Sophomore Quincy Salcido (Van Wert) improved his time at the 60 meter dash; sophomores Devony Miller (Findlay/Liberty-Benton) and Jennie Matteson (Guysville/Alexander) improved in both the 800 meters and the mile; while freshmen Alexis Cash (Gaines, MI/Lake Fenton) and Connor Gulick (St. Louisville/Utica), sophomore Jacob Hill (Dayton/Wayne) and senior Patrick Brean (Ashland) dropped their times in the mile. The Bluffton women looked impressive as a group in the mile, taking positions 3, 4, 6, 7 and 9 in the field of 29 while Gulick nabbed the 6th position in his field of 34.
Sophomore Michelle Kelsey (South Whitley, Ind./Whitko) erased an impressive 36 seconds from her 3000 meter previous best while freshman Dakota Frost (Edgerton/Hicksville) improved over the distance as well. In field events, senior DiVaunta Spearman (Sandusky/Willard) threw a lifetime best in shot put with sophomore Maelinn Delong (Archbold/Bryan) making a dramatic improvement in the weight. Closing out the evening in exciting fashion was the men’s 4 x 400 meter relay (Knezovich, Gulick, Williams and Salcido) which placed 3rd among the 11 teams, being bested only by two relays from the host school.
“The season is coming along nicely,” said Head Coach Karen Brandt. “From the rust-buster meet at Hillsdale on January 7 until now, we have seen a lot of improvement in a number of events. Having D’Nae and Terrill consistently perform at a national-caliber level sets a good tone for the program and provides motivation to their teammates to continually strive for their best. It is still too early for the middle distance and distance folks to be honing their speed on really short intervals so to see times coming down tells me their work is paying off and faster times are yet to come. Coach Fisher spent a lot of time this past week working on throwing technique; as performances continue to improve it just deepens his athletes’ trust in his coaching. We have an enthusiastic group who are gratifying to work with.”
The Beavers will participate in the University of Findlay Classic on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 27 and 28. Friday’s events commence with the men’s pole vault at 3:30 p.m. followed by the women at 6:30 p.m. Track events contested will be the men’s and women’s 5000 meter races at 6:45 and 7:10 p.m. respectively followed by both gender’s distance medley relays. The meet resumes Saturday at 9 a.m. with men’s shot put; Saturday track events begin at 12:10 p.m.