2018 Track and Field
HCAC Indoor Championships
February 18, 2018
ANDERSON, Ind. - The Bluffton University women’s track and field team had an outstanding day at the HCAC Indoor Conference Championship, scoring 90.5 points to come home in 2nd place, the highest team finish in school history for the indoor program! With 16 women entered in the meet and 12 of them scoring points, it was a story of determination and esprit de corps.
Leading the women in points scored with 18.25 was junior Keturah Warlick (East Point, Mich./Clintondale) who won the 60 meter dash in a PR time of 8.06 which also broke her own school record; placed 2nd in the 200 meters with a PR 27.13 and led off the 8th place finishing 4 x 400 meter relay. In the relay Warlick handed the baton to senior Alissa Hauke (Hillsboro) who passed it on to freshman Sarah Heydinger (Tiro/Buckeye Central) with sophomore Tori Bowen (Wapakoneta/Elida) anchoring the effort. Following closely as a huge point contributor with 18 was sophomore Alexis Cash (Gaines, MI/Lake Fenton). Cash won the 3000 meter race leading from gun to tape; placed 3rd in the mile and anchored the women’s distance medley relay (DMR) to 2nd. Joining Cash in the DMR were Hauke, junior Michelle Kelsey (South Whitley, Ind./Whitko) and sophomore Tami Groff (Versailles).
Bringing home yet another win for the Beavers and 10 valuable points was Bowen with an 11’ 9” bar in the pole vault with junior Sarah Oliver (Lexington) contributing 6 of her own for a 3rd place PR clearance of 10’ 7”. Junior Jennie Matteson (Guysville/Alexander) had a big day for the distance squad, nailing down a PR 18:59.54 2nd place to open her day in the 5000 meters and closing it out with another PR 11:03.20 in the evening’s 3000 meter race, good for 3rd which added 14 points to the women’s tally. Also running PRs and scoring points were freshman Kimmie Hetrick (Fremont/Ross) with a 4th place 19:28.52 5000 meter effort and an 11:17.66 6th place in the 3000. Sophomore Arie Cox (Ontario) was 7th in the 5000 at 20:05.73. Hauke placed 5th in the 800 with 2:31.16.
By far the headliner for the men’s team was freshman pole vaulter Gabe Makin (Elida) who has been flirting with a 15’ clearance for most of the season. Call it a love affair now as Makin bested the field with a 15’ 7” bar, breaking Bluffton’s school record as well as the championship meet record! Also scoring vault points were senior Kyle Knezovich (Utica) in 4th and sophomore Justin Kauffman (Smithville) who placed 8th. Sophomore Dakota Frost (Edgerton/Hicksville) had a double PR day on the track, breaking his own school record in the 5000 with a 15:40.13 clocking, good for 6th and dropping time yet again in the 3000 with a 7th place 9:01.86 effort.
Senior Kris Lyons (Vickery/Margaretta), running his first distance event after losing the cross season to an injury, impressed with a PR finish in the 3000 after anchoring the men’s DRM to 3rd place along with sophomore Connor Gulick (St. Louisville/Utica), freshman Omar Warlick (East Pointe, Mich./Clintondale) and sophomore Josh Ehlers (Northwest State CC/Tinora). In field events, senior Erick Benge (Monrovia, Ind./Monrovia) PRd in weight with a toss of 49’ 8.25”, good for 8th. The men combined for a 5th place team finish when all scoring finishes throughout the various events were tallied.
“Teamwork makes the dream work was the motto for the day,” explained Head Coach Karen Brandt, “and what a team effort it was. Jim (assistant/distance coach) agonized over the meet line-up to maximize points, arranged and rearranged it, substituted due to injury and absence, and had to make some decisions on the fly during the meet to lay the blueprint for possible success. Then the athletes had to come through, some of them with heavy workloads. His distance women in particular had a huge day, executing good race strategies and bringing home results commensurate with his coaching knowledge and their hard work. It was a real joy for me, not only as a coach but as a wife as well, to see them celebrate the fruits of their labors. Likewise, I am blown away by Coach Dillion and his vaulters. Clint brings a real gift to our program and when an athlete buys in to his style, they go places. Two vault conference champions, a freshman and a sophomore, Gabe with a huge clearance and school record, it doesn’t get much better than that. And Keturah, my little Mighty Mouse! What a day for her with a win, school record and runner-up PR. These examples and so many more on the day are the kinds of memories these kids will remember for a long time. It is an honor to help make them happen.”
The Beavers will open their outdoor campaign in Lexington, Va., at Washington & Lee University on March 16 and 17.