2017 Track and Field
Bluffton shines at Ohio Northern
April 22, 2017
ADA, Ohio - The Bluffton University men’s and women’s track and field teams traveled to neighboring Ohio Northern University on Friday and Saturday, April 21-22 to compete in the Polar Bear Invite. As has become the custom for the season, junior Kyle Knezovich (Utica), freshman Stanley Williams (Sterling Heights, Mich./Chippewa Valley), senior Jack Fisher (Norwalk/St. Paul), sophomore Quincy Salcido (Van Wert), and junior D’Nae Reese (Columbus/Upper Arlington) provided some of the brightest fireworks of the day.
Knezovich set the tone during Friday night’s javelin competition where he bested the field of 20 with a PR toss of 163’ 02” (49.74 meters) while junior teammate Erick Benge (Monrovia, Ind./Monrovia) placed 3rd. Also doing well in javelin were freshmen Ethan Vandermarliere (Georgetown, Ky./Scott County) and Brittany Breier (Archbold/Stryker) both of whom improved on their previous marks. Knezovich continued his weekend Saturday with a 2nd place finish in pole vault and lead-off in the winning 4 x 400 meter relay at the end of the meet.
Posting a pair of victories was freshman Stanley Williams who prevailed over the 10-man field in the long jump and cut down a substantial deficit on leg two of the 4 x 400 to put the team in contention. Williams handed the baton to senior Jack Fisher who continued to close the gap and gave the lead to sophomore Quincy Salcido at anchor. Salcido had earlier shown his speed, winning the 200 meters in the field of 14 with a PR 22.31, but it was in the closing leg of the relay that he showed his true strength. With the opposing Findlay anchor having closed on him, Salcido calmly held his opponent even with his right shoulder down the backstretch and into the final turn where he pressed on the gas and brought the team home to a 3.6 second margin of victory.
Junior D’Nae Reese had another record-setting day, again breaking her school record in the discus with a distance of 136’ 10” (41.72), good for 5th in the field of 20 athletes and brought home a 3rd place finish in the hammer among the 27 in Friday’s competition.
A number of athletes in a variety of events saw personal best and points-paying performances during this last meet prior to the conference championship. Freshman Keion Johnson (Elkhart, Ind./Central) placed 4th in shot with 46’ 11.75” while sophomore Zach Pachis (Massillon/Washington) placed 8th at 42’ 9.75”; freshman Justin Kauffman (Smithville) took his 5th place pole vault clearance to just shy of 13’; and senior DiVaunta Spearman (Sandusky/Willard) had a 6th place 153’ 08” hammer performance. While not placing, others also saw improvement such as freshman Riley Wilcox (Killbuck/West Holmes) in shot put; Spearman and freshman John Jones (Cincinnati/Walnut Hills) in discus; Vandermarliere in hammer; freshmen Ciana Hostetler (Sugarcreek/Garaway) and Breier at 200 meters; and sophomore Michael Lehman (West Liberty/West Liberty-Salem) in the 1500 meters. In his final 5,000 meter race, senior Patrick Brean (Ashland), having faced down a year of personal adversities and hardships, ran a season-best time to the cheers and support of his teammates.
“The hard work is done and the hay is in the barn,” said Head Coach Karen Brandt, “Now we see what they do with it next weekend at the conference championship. Despite a lack of quantity, our men’s team has some real quality and is poised to do well in both track and field events. We need women’s distance and middle distance runners to come through to complement some strong performers in the sprint and field events. The women surprised indoors with a 5th place finish; we are hoping for another big-meet effort.”
The Beavers travel to Anderson University on Friday, April 28, where competition begins at 3 p.m. for both track and field events. Field events resume Saturday, April 29, at 11 a.m. with track action set to commence at 12:30 p.m.