2017 Track and Field
Williams wins long jump at Findlay Classic
January 28, 2017
FINDLAY, Ohio - The Bluffton track and field squad made its annual pilgrimage northward on I-75 to the University of Findlay Classic. It was two days of quality performances in a predominately Division 2 field where the Beavers acquitted themselves quite well.
Freshman Stanley Williams (Sterling Heights, Mich./Chippewa Valley) won the long jump competition as he continues to impress in that event across the NCAA Great Lakes region. Freshman Connor Gulick (St. Louisville/Utica) came home 3rd in a 16 person field in the 800 meter race in a PR and conference-qualifying time of 2:02.10. Freshman Dakota Frost (Edgerton/Hicksville) nearly eclipsed the one-week old 5,000 meter record with a debut 16:06.74 conference-qualifying time for 6th place in the 16-man field.
PR performances were turned in by senior Cam Walker (Palmetto, Ga./Newnan) and freshman Ricardo Florestal (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) in the 200 meters; senior Shawn Campo (Galion) in the mile; sophomore Jacob Hill (Dayton/Wayne) at 3,000 meters; sophomore Michael Lehman (West Liberty/West Liberty-Salem) at 5,000 meters; freshman Justin Kauffman (Smithville) in pole vault (conference qualifier); and senior DiVaunta Spearman (Sandusky/Willard) in the weight throw. Last, but far from least, junior Kyle Knezovich (Utica) broke his own school record in the pole vault, clearing the bar at 14’ 7.25”.
The women’s team, as has come to be expected, was not to be outdone by their male compatriots. Junior Willow Thompson (Arlington) improved upon her college PR to move nicely up the conference and All-Ohio performances lists. In the 3,000 meter race, freshman Alexis Cash (Gaines, MI/Lake Fenton) came up big with a 5th place finish in the field of 23 in a PR 11:10.88 conference qualifier. She was followed quickly across the line by sophomore Jennie Matteson (Guysville/Alexander) who placed 7th, also with a major PR and qualifying time of 11:17.86.
From the sprint side of the team, sophomore Keturah Warlick (East Point, Mich./Clintondale) ran a season-best qualifier 27.65 in the 200 meters while freshman Haylee Zigan (Newark/Licking Valley) PR’d at 800 meters and is tantalizingly close to the conference qualifier. In the throws, junior D’Nae Reese (Columbus/Upper Arlington) held up the honors with a 4th place finish in the field of 37 weight contestants.
“It was a quality two days of competition,” said Head Coach Karen Brandt. “We saw the results of consistency and hard work continuing to pay dividends in a variety of events. More of our athletes joined the ranks of those qualified for the HCAC conference meet or those who are ranked at this moment in the top 16 in the state for potential qualification for the All-Ohio Championship. When you see kids come off the track or out of a field venue with a huge smile on their face and you get a big, sweaty hug, you know why you are in coaching. Those are the moments that transcend all the work and hours put in by both athlete and coach and you just give each other that look that says, “Yeah!” We coaches are looking forward seeing what else the rest of the season brings us.”
The Beavers will travel to neighboring Ohio Northern University on Saturday, Feb. 4, to participate in the Joe Banks Invitational. Field events start at 11 a.m. followed by action on the track starting at noon.