Trojans Participate in NAIA Championships
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
by Jordan Argo
Geneva, OH - Five athletes represented the Hannibal-LaGrange University Track and Field program this past weekend in the NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships. Senior Carissa Eichmeyer, juniors Andre Townsend and Philiph Tonui, and freshman Breanna Newton and Easton Padden all made the long trip to Geneva, OH for the national meet.
Eichmeyer participated in the 3000 meter race walk as she finished in 12th place with a time of 18:44.26.
"After getting a late start to the indoor season due to injury, it was a great accomplishment for [Eichmeyer] to qualify once again for the national meet," said Coach Jason Lewkowicz. "With her now just starting to get back into form, she is looking forward to a strong showing during the outdoor season."
Townsend took part in the 60 meter hurdles at the national meet where he finished just 0.02 seconds behind first place to take home the silver with a time of 7.98 seconds. With his second place finish, Townsend became the first Trojan track athlete to lay claim to All-American status.
"After a solid run in the prelims, Andre slipped out of the blocks in the semifinals and, after nearly just before the first hurdle, he managed to recover and qualify for the finals with the seventh best time," stated Coach Lewkowicz. "[Townsend] was assigned to lane one, which is not ideal considering the top runners get the middle lanes. However, Andre showed up to the track on Saturday determined to not let that hold him back and ran a tremendous race in the finals."
Running in the 5000 meters was Tonui who finished with a personal best time of 15:11.40 and finished 20th overall.
"After battling illness for much of the past two weeks, we knew that he wasn't going to be at 100 percent," said Coach Lewkowicz. "However, Philiph ran a brave race... and broke his own school record in the event."
Newton competed in the 1000 meter run where she finished with a time of 3:02.49 and a 15th place standing overall.
"Much like Philiph, Breanna spent most of nationals week dealing with sickness but she went out and gave a gritty performance," remarked Coach Lewkowicz. Knowing that she had to be in the top two of her preliminary heat to qualify, Breanna went out and was aggressive. With one lap to go (300 meters), she found herself side by side with eventual champion Jessica Smith of Simon Fraser. Unfortunately she was not able to hold that position and ended up placing 7th in her heat."
Pole vaulter Padden was able to clear the opening height of 4.50 meters (14'9"). However, Padden was unable to clear the next height and finished 13th overall.
"[Padden] had three strong attempts at the next height, especially his first, where he was a foot over the bar but hit it on the way down," commented Coach Lewkowicz. "Unfortunately, [Padden] was not able to clear the second height."
The Trojans will look to carry it's success from the indoor season over into the outdoor season. The Trojan's outdoor season is slated to begin Saturday March 19 when HLGU will travel to Fayette, MO to participate in the Central Methodist Invite.
Contact InformationCarolyn Carpenter
Director of Public Relations