2005 Season Preview
Men's and women's track and field teams ready to make strides in 2005
By Lindsey Delscamp, sports information intern
January 28, 2005
As the indoor track and field season is already underway and with the outdoor season fast approaching, the 2005 Bluffton University men's and women's track and field teams have been hard at work. First year head coach Janey Meeks is looking to guide the Beavers ahead and build on the recent success of both programs.
Meeks is very pleased with the training that her athletes have undergone thus far in preparation for the season. "All event groups are training very hard," Meeks said. "We started off with a good first indoor meet and are looking to have continued success." Both the men and the women are looking to improve themselves during the indoor campaign in preparation for the outdoor season.
The Beavers are coming off a strong year where the women won the Heartland Conference championship and the men tied their highest finish ever in the conference at third. Expectations for both the men and the women are high. "For the women, we are looking to repeat as conference champions," Meeks said. "For the men's team, we are looking to place second in the conference." With both squads continually working hard and improving themselves, these expectations look very attainable.
Leading the women's team this season will be a core group of returning athletes. Key returners will be senior sprinter Jana Hammer (Hamler/Patrick Henry) and senior hurdler and sprinter Amanda Habegger (Berne, Ind./South Adams). In the mid distance and jumping events junior Stephanie Welch (Berne, Ind./South Adams) will be returning and in the distance events the Beavers return junior Jennifer Creamer (Westerville/Westerville South). Other returners include junior Rita Muether (Celina/Celina) who was named Most Outstanding Female Track Athlete last season and earned all conference honors. Sophomore Cindy Allan (Fayette/Archbold) will also return to improve on her performance last year as she was named Most Outstanding Freshman Female Athlete.
The women also have a group of freshmen that will add to their team's success. These newcomers include freshman thrower Mariel Nash (Loudonville/Loudonville), distance runner Sarah Humphrey (Upper Sandusky/Upper Sandusky) and in the jumping events Augusta Arling (Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart/Fayetteville, Ark.).
A key group of returners will lead the way for the men's team this season. They include junior sprinter and jumper Colby Bright (Galion/Galion), junior mid distance runner Dan Rosebrock (Napoleon/Napoleon) and junior thrower Steve Myers (Delphos/Jefferson). Other leaders for the Beavers will be sophomore distance runner Dave Espinoza (Toledo/Whitmer), and sophomore sprinter Shandon North (Galion/Galion). Starting competition in the outdoor season will be senior Clint Dillion (McAllen, Texas/Bucyrus). After placing fourth in the Division III pole-vaulting competition last year, Dillion was named an NCAA Division III All American and will be another leader for the men. Senior Troy Baumer (Geneva, Ind./South Adams) will also return in the outdoor season. Baumer will participate in the sprint and hurdle events.
The men's team will also be assisted by a strong group of newcomers. They include freshman sprinter Kevin Davis (Albion/Albion, Mich), pole-vaulter Aaron Montgomery (Bluffton/Bluffton), middle-distance runner Tyler Fairchild (Toledo/Whitmer) and thrower Rex Brown (Wauseon/Pettisville). With a successful combination of returning athletes and newcomers the men are looking forward to a successful indoor and outdoor season.
Both teams are very excited as the indoor track and field season begins. The potential for both the men's and women's side is high and they are working hard to accomplish their goals. With the teams past success and enthusiasm for the upcoming campaign, the Beavers will be in for an outstanding season.