2016 Track and Field
Beavers travel to Indiana for Hanover Invite
April 2, 2016
HANOVER, Ind. - It is perhaps April but the winds blew like it was March, or maybe like it was Kansas and Dorothy was going to be blown to Oz. Whatever the case, strong and steady winds wreaked havoc on track times and field events as the Bluffton University Beavers competed at the Hanover College Invitational on Saturday. Despite the conditions that slowed many and forced the cancellation of men’s pole vault as well as men’s shot put due to the danger of a tree uprooting, there were still a number of strong performances posted throughout the day.
The squad was once again led by its corps of throwers as PR performance and qualification marks among that group abounded. The hammer alone produced strong results from senior Edgar Gonzalez (Melvindale, MI) (HCAC and All-Ohio) who placed 5th in the field of 43 men, fellow senior Aron Gibson (Caledonia/River Valley) (PR and HCAC), junior DiVaunta Spearman (Sandusky/Willard) (PR, HCAC and All-Ohio) and PRs for freshmen Zach Pachis (Massillon/Massillon Christian) and Morgan Haynes (London). Senior Alex Parker (Alger/Upper Scioto Valley) has also qualified for HCAC and All-Ohio in the event at a previous meet. Sophomore Erick Benge (Monrovia, Ind./Monrovia) had a big day in the javelin, despite the strong cross winds, with a PR toss (HCAC and All-Ohio) while sophomore D’Nae Reese (Columbus/Upper Arlington) put together her technique for a big improvement in discus (HCAC and All-Ohio). Junior Terrill Webb (Kenton) was the first collegian in the women’s pole vault before conditions later deteriorated completely.
Track events suffered from the harsh winds and cold temperatures as well. Seeing the PR performances turned in by more than a few thinclads makes one wonder what they could have done had the conditions been more conducive to good performances. Starting the day off in fine fashion was sophomore Kris Lyons (Vickery/Margaretta), getting back to form with a big drop in time in the 5000 meters, winning his section in 16:47. Freshman Jacob Hill (Dayton/Wayne) has worked diligently on hurdling technique to see improvement in his steeplechase performance while sophomore Elaina Alpeter (Galloway/Hilliard Bradley) and freshman Michelle Kelsey (South Whitley, Ind./Whitko), Taylor Aurand (Riley, Mich./Armada) and Daniel Gregg (Ontario/Mansfield Christian) pushed back the wind to clock new best times over the 1500 meter distance.
“As in all sports, weather can play a major role in performances,” said Head Coach Karen Brandt. “Forty-plus mile per hour winds will not yield the best results. However, they do not have to hamper best efforts and I saw a lot of those today by our athletes. Athletics is as much a mental game as it is a physical one. To face the odds of a subpar performance in cold and wind and still dig down to find your best, those are the efforts that will pay huge dividends down the road.”
The Beavers will be back in action Saturday, April 9, at the Marv Frye Invitational hosted by Ohio Wesleyan University. Field events start at 10:30 a.m. with track action beginning at 3 p.m.