2017 Track and Field
Beavers sweep pole vault at HCAC Championships
February 20, 2017
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Bluffton University men’s track and field team was nothing short of amazing in Saturday’s HCAC Indoor Track & Field Championship hosted by Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana. The men came home 3rd in the 10 team field and accomplished that placing with a participating team of 18 with nine of those men scoring points.
Junior Kyle Knezovich (Utica) was the Beaver athlete of the day with a winning school record clearance 15’ 5” in pole vault; a 5th in the high hurdles; 400 leg of the 3rd place distance medley relay; and leadoff in the school-record 2nd place finishing 4 x 400 relay (3:28.75). While Knezovich had a banner day, his 4 x 400 teammates also had a spectacular meet with perhaps freshman Stanley Williams (Sterling Heights, Mich./Chippewa Valley) having the most impressive. In addition to his relay efforts, Williams went 2nd in long jump, 3rd in the high jump and 10th in the 200 meters, accumulating enough points to earn Freshman of the Year honors. Senior Jack Fisher (Norwalk/St. Paul) had a busy mileage day anchoring 1600 meters in the distance medley relay; bringing home 2nd place finishes in both the mile (4:28.32) and 800 (2:00.62); and contributing a quick leg to the 4 x 400. Prior to anchoring the 4 x 400, sophomore Quincy Salcido (Van Wert) brought it home 2nd in the 400 meters with a PR 50.35 and 7th in the 200, also a PR, 23.05.
Freshman Dakota Frost (Edgerton/Hicksville) had already gotten the day started for the men in fine fashion with a 7th place, new school-record 15:53.40 finish in the 5000 meters. Also posting a personal record performance was senior Shawn Campo (Galion) at 800 meters and sophomore Michael Lehman (West Liberty/West Liberty-Salem) in the 5000, while senior DiVaunta Spearman (Sandusky/Willard) equaled his previous best in weight to land in the 5th position.
While the women’s team could not quite match the men’s podium level team finish, they also had much to be excited about. Junior D’Nae Reese (Columbus/Upper Arlington) continued her weight throw dominance with a winning performance and added a 5th place in the shot put. Junior Willow Thompson (Arlington) brought it on to win the pole vault competition while sophomore Keturah Warlick (East Point, Mich./Clintondale) brought her speed to bear on the track. Warlick smashed her previous school record (8.27) with a clocking of 8.11, good for 2nd, and only 9/100 from the win. She shined in the 200 meters as well, placing third with 27.28. Rounding out the women’s superlatives was freshman Alexis Cash (Ontario) who made a bold and decisive move from the pack in the 3000 meters with three laps to go to challenge for the win, coming up shy for a quality 2nd place finish. Earlier in the day Cash had anchored the 4th place distance medley relay. For a team that has seen its share of nicks, bangs and illnesses over the past several weeks, a fifth place team finish was a highly credible performance.
“We essentially were the ‘little teams that could’ this weekend,” said Head Coach Karen Brandt. “What we lack in quantity, we make up for in quality. It was the toughness, determination and esprit d coups that brought home these team finishes. I am proud of our athletes and grateful for the hard work and expertise our coaches bring to the program. It’s been a long winter of indoor track with the outdoor season opening just a month from now. We all look to capitalize on the hard work and performances of this weekend during the spring.”
Select athletes will compete Saturday, Feb. 25 at Anderson University in preparation or potential qualification for the NCAA championship meet in March.