Trojans Qualify Three, Finish Fifth
Monday, February 14, 2011
by Jordan Argo
Hannibal, MO - The men’s and women’s indoor track teams traveled to Cedarville, OH to participate in the Cedarville University Invitational this past Friday. Although there were only 12 athletes who made the trip, HLGU had a great showing at the invite.
“We decided to take this group all the way to Ohio because they wanted to compete against strong competition and hit qualifying standards for the indoor national meet,” said Coach Jason Lewkowicz. “The folks we brought were all focused and put forth one of the strongest team efforts ever at HLG. All twelve of the athletes scored points for the team and showed great determination and heart in doing so.”
Even with only six athletes participating, the women’s team finished fifth out of 14 schools. The ladies also qualified two more athletes of the NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships. Freshman Breanna Newton was the first Lady Trojan to qualify Friday as she finished in first in the 1000 meter run. Her time of 3:01.40 not only automatically qualified her for nationals but also broke the school record. Senior teammate Carissa Eichmeyer quickly followed Newton’s great performance with her own as she finished the 3000 meter race walk in 18:23.46 which also allowed her to qualify for nationals for the second straight year.
Senior pole vaulter Cara Grinde nearly became the third Lady Trojan to qualify for nationals Friday as she finished second in the pole vault. Grinde’s attempted to vault 11’6”, which would have qualified her for nationals, but just missed clearing the bar on her third attempt.
Freshman pole vaulter Cailey Wilkinson also had a strong performance as she cleared 10’0” to finish in fifth place. Freshman middle distance runners Mandi Riddle and Sarah Wilson also competed well in their events Friday. Riddle finished the 1000 meter race in 3:19.91 and the 600 meter dash in 1:47.37 to help her to third and fifth place finishes, respectively. Wilson also ran in the 600 meter dash and finished in third place with a time of 1:45.37 while also competing in the 200 meter dash where she finished in ninth with a time of 27.29 seconds.
The men also only brought six athletes to the invite and were able to finish fifth out of 15 teams. Another highlight for the men’s squad was Easton Padden qualifying for nationals in the pole vault. His vault of 15’5” placed him second overall at Friday’s meet and broke his own school record previously set earlier this season.
Junior Philiph Tonui had also set his sights on qualifying for nationals as he participated in the mile. His time of 4:23.79 was good enough for a fourth place finish but was 0.59 seconds off of the qualifying mark. Tonui will once again try to qualify for the mile this weekend at the American Midwest Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships. Regardless of his finish this weekend, Tonui will be traveling to nationals as he has already qualified in the five kilometer race.
Junior Andre Townsend will also be traveling to nationals next month as he too has already qualified. Townsend continues to wow those around him as his times keep improving. This weekend he finished the 55 meter hurdles in first place with a time of 7.36 seconds. Not only did his time break the HLGU record, but it also broke the meet and Cedarville Fieldhouse records and placed him with the best time in the NAIA for his event.
Also coming through with solid performances for the Trojans was freshman Bernardo Massuchin, Cole Peck and Stephen McTeer. Massuchin finished in fourth in the long jump with a jump of 21’8.75” while also placing seventh in the 200 meter dash with a time of 23.66 seconds. Joining Massuchin in the 200 meter dash was Peck who came in eighth with a time of 23.77 seconds. Peck also participated in the 600 meter dash with McTeer. Both finished in the top-10 as Peck finished fifth breaking the school record with a time of 1:27.55 and McTeer finished ninth in a time of 1:29.22.
“It's easy to point out the accomplishments of the three who qualified for nationals but they all deserve a lot of credit for enduring a long trip and then coming out and competing like champions,” stated Coach Lewkowicz. “Although our athletic accomplishments will always fall second to our desire to honor Christ with our efforts on the track, it is great to be around a group of kids who are committed to doing both with their full heart.”
The Trojans will compete in the AMC Indoor Track and Field Championships this Friday and Saturday at the Hearnes Center in Columbia, MO.
Contact InformationCarolyn Carpenter
Director of Public Relations