Track and Field compete in first indoor meet

Andrew Zienty, Sports Editor

Sophomore Addison Bendery (center) looks to the finish line in the 60m sprint.
Photo: Liam Owens

 

Both the men’s and women’s track and field teams hosted Millikin and Augustana in a tri-meet this past weekend Jan. 30 at our very own Shirk center.

On the women’s side, Millikin won the competition scoring 108 with Illinois Wesleyan coming in second with 102 and Augustana coming in last with 79 points.

This effort was led by sophomore Addison Bendery who finished first in the 60m sprint (8.00) and the 200m dash (26.37). On top of this, the team had two more first place finishes from sophomore Rebekah Harden in the 800m (2:23.18) and senior Katie North in the 3000m (10:49.67).

The team also captured first in the 4×400 relay which included Bendery, Harden and seniors Cora Wilkinson and Kelsey Wyman.

The women’s team always surpasses my expectations. With it being the first meet, I know we can only progress from here” senior Katie North said.

It has been almost a full year since the team was last able to compete.

“As a team, I would like to see us take the conference title. Getting second indoors last year was really exciting, and I think this year we have an even stronger team than we did previously” North said.

Senior Ayana Blair competes in weight throw.
Photo: Nora Robinson

In field events the women’s team had first place finishes from junior Emma Helfrich (long jump), first-year Lauren Wong (triple jump) and senior Ayana Blair (shot put).

“The team has worked really hard up until now and it definitely showed at our meet. We do have some things to improve on, but we got the first meet jitters out of the way and now we are ready to show what we have been working on” Blair said.

Although the overall team finish was not what they had hoped for, there were four individual victories that led the men’s team this past weekend.

Senior Zach Anderson won the shot put and the weight throw with 15.93m and 17.18m, respectively. Anderson also won the honor of CCIW Field Player of the Week.

“Several of our athletes had some stellar performances, and the best part is, you haven’t seen nothing yet! Be on the lookout for several titans to breakthrough this season” sophomore JD Barrett said.

Sophomore Ethan Ruth and senior Jake Mahaffey also notched first place wins in their respective events. Ruth finished first in the 400m dash (55.87) and Mahaffey earned first in high jump (1.78m).

Junior JD Barrett catches up with two Millikin runners in the 3,000m run.
Photo: Samira Kassem

“We should expect better performances as the season goes on. It was a good check point that exposed a lot of the things we need to work on” junior Davis Nguy said.

The men’s team is currently ranked No.17 in the country while the women’s team is ranked No.5 per the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

“We had great energy despite having no spectators. Both men’s and women’s teams truly understand the urgency of each opportunity and they competed like it was the last meet of the year. I came away feeling very optimistic about what we can accomplish as a team” head coach Chris Schumacher said.

Both teams compete at the Shirk Center again this Saturday, Feb. 6 in a rematch against Augustana and Millikin with the women’s events starting at 9 a.m. and the men to follow.

Senior Zach Anderson was named CCIW Field Player of the Week after winning both the shot put and weight throw.
Photo: Samira Kassem