IWU Track and Field claim seven first place finishes

IWU Track and Field claim seven first place finishes

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Sam Lalonde, Staff Writer

 

While some people were busy Saturday afternoon making Valentine’s Day plans, the Illinois Wesleyan University track and field team had their focus elsewhere. With seven first place finishes on the day, the Titans clearly had their hearts set on victory at the Monmouth Fighting Scots Indoor Track and Field Invitational.

For the men, senior Jeff Toraason and sophomore Eric Rydell proved to be the best in their respective events, which were the 60 meter hurdles and the high jump. Toraason secured the victory with an impressive time of 8.43 seconds, while Rydell topped the competition with a jump of 6 feet-6 ¾ inches.

Rydell has been able to prove himself early on in his career, earning many accolades, beyond his years. Some of these include:  “Best Newcomer,” “Men’s Field Athlete of the Week” for indoor track in College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin, All-Conference in high jump (fourth) at the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin outdoor track meet and All-Conference in the high jump (fifth) at the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin indoor track meet in 2014.

While two first place finishes is impressive, the IWU women’s track and field team managed to come away Saturday with victories in five events. These events included: the 60 meter dash, the 400 meter, 60 meter hurdles, the pole vault and the 4 x 400 relay. The team shouldered the effort, as no member won first place in more than one event.

This speaks to the strength of the squad as a whole, considering eight athletes combined forces to win five events. The IWU women’s track and field team are currently ranked third nationally for division III women’s track and field. In competitions for which team scores were kept, the Titans have taken first place twice and second place once out of three total meets.

While she did not finish first in the event, junior Jill Harmon set her personal and the IWU school record in the triple jump, covering 39 feet and 3 inches. This earned Harmon the honor of CCIW Women’s Indoor Field Athlete of the Week on Tuesday, Feb. 17.

The Titans will be back in action on Saturday, Feb. 21 at the Olivet Nazarene Invitational.