Indoor season wrapping up for IWU track and field

Samira Kassem

Senior Katie North leads the CCIW in the women’s 5000 meter run by over 20 seconds.
Photo: Illinois Wesleyan University

Men’s and women’s track and field wrapped up their regular indoor season on Saturday, March 6. 

Due to restrictions on the number of competitors allowed at any given meet, the CCIW will use a running list from the season to determine all-conference winners. 

“This year, it is really hard because we have not raced our biggest competition, North Central, all season. It’s been way more strategic than it has ever been before” Senior Katie North said. 

The Titans competed in five indoor meets during their season which started in late January. All five of the meets were at IWU’s Shirk Center against two other teams. 

“It’s a little funky seeing these teams get points but never actually getting to race their athletes” sophomore Addison Benerdy said. 

Benerdy comes out of her blocks in the 200 meter dash.
Photo: Samira Kassem

 

On the women’s side, senior Ayana Blair won both the weight throw (17.33m) and the shot put (13.69m), both season-best tosses that rank her first in the CCIW. Currently, she is No. 5 for the weight throw and tied for No. 2 in the shot put nationally. 

Benerdy continued her season of success with season bests in the 200 meter (25.66) and 60 meter dashes (7.81), to top the CCIW in both. Benerdy stands at No. 4 nationally for the 60 meter dash. 

North and junior Rebekah Harden went one and two in the 3000 meter run in 10:20.51 and 10:25.29, good enough to top the CCIW rankings and put Harden at No.13 nationally. 

Harden is also ranked first in the CCIW for the mile run (5:09.51) and 800 meter run (2:19.65) while North is slated to win the 5000 meter run (18:02.42).

“Obviously, everyone goes out there every week to PR, but it has also been about ‘well how many points can we add to the board this week?’and that is something we have not had to worry about going into every meet last year like we do this year” North said.

Senior Kelsey Wyman topped the 200m dash in 1:00.18, good enough for third place ranking in the CCIW. 

The Titans took first and second in the long jump, led by a season-best performance from junior Emma Helferich (5.54m). Senior Cora Wilkinson leads in the CCIW rankings at 5.50m followed by Helferich. 

Other notable CCIW rankings on the women’s side include the second place 4×400 meter relay of Benerdy, Wilkinson, Wyman and Harden (4:06.54) and the first place distance medley relay of Harden, Wilkinson, Wyman and Mirande.

Junior Zach Orpilla competes in the mile run.
Photo: Rosa Zhaleh

On the men’s side senior thrower Zach Anderson topped both the shot put (16.52m) and weight throw (17.69m), good enough for a first and third place ranking in the CCIW and fifth and seventh place ranking nationally. 

Fellow thrower Cole Paraday tossed a season-best in the shot put (14.53m) to earn a third place rank in the CCIW.        

Junior Jake Mahaffey posted a season best in the high jump (1.93m) for the third place rank in the CCIW. Mahaffey also holds the third place ranking for the triple jump. 

Sophomore JD Barrett cruised through a first place finish in the 5000 meter run by over 20 seconds for a season best of 15:49.21.

Other notable CCIW rankings on the men’s side include third place for the 4×400 meter relay (3:28.92) made up of Clarke, Painter, Murray and Nguy and the distance medley of Morris, Wagner, Owens and Orpilla (11:40.98). 

The teams will officially wrap up their indoor season with the CCIW Elite Meet at the Shirk Center this Saturday, March 13.    

Sophomore Cyrus Clarke leads the 400 meter dash.
Photo: Rosa Zhaleh