Titans travel to Olivet Nazarene Invitational

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Sam Lalonde, Sports Writer

 

Last weekend, the Illinois Wesleyan University men and women’s track and field teams traveled to Bourbonnais, Illinois for the Olivet Nazarene Indoor Track Qualifier on Saturday, Feb. 21.

The competition consisted of both NCAA and NAIA teams and served as a benchmark for all of the athletes.

The women’s team finished as the top division III NCAA team in the meet and third overall behind host Olivet Narazene and St. Francis University, both of which are NAIA teams. Between individual and team events, the Titan women took six top-three place finishes, along with two other top-five finishes.

First place honors went to junior Jill Harmon in the 60 m hurdles (9.17 seconds), first-year Amelia Glueck in the long jump (18 ft-5 3/4 in) and the 4×400 m relay, which consisted of sophomore Maddison Zimmer, junior Angela Herrmann, sophomore Liz Oltman and senior Allie Boudreau (3:53.65). Furthermore, Herrmann took second in the 200 m (25.87 seconds), Kelsey Buerger finished third in the 3,000 m (11:11.74) and sophomore Jamie Gradishar also earned a top three spot in pole vault (11 ft-5 3/4 in).

On the men’s side, tough competition put the Titans at seventh out of 12 teams for the day. After the women managed to take the top spot in their side of the invitational, the Olivet Nazarene men’s squad completed the sweep as they racked up 227 points, compared to 24 for the IWU men’s team.

The top finishes for the Titans were third place for Jeff Toraasen in the 60 m hurdles (8.41 seconds), third place for Eric Rydell in the high jump (6 ft-5 in) and fourth place for Sean O’Carroll in pole vault (13 ft- 4 1/4 in). Just a first-year athlete, O’Carroll has managed to make a difference early on.

“We came there trying to see where we are at as a team this point in the season, and I feel that we got a decent assessment for the most part. We had some strong performances on the day, and we are feeling optimistic about the rest of the year” O’Carroll said.

The Titan men potentially have eight more times to compete before the conclusion of the indoor season, which would include the CCIW championships and the NCAA Men’s Division III indoor championships. The women are hoping for six more days of competition and a victory at the NCAA Women’s Division III indoor championships on March 13 and 14.