By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
TIFFIN, Ohio - The Bluffton University track and field team made the trek to Tiffin a day early this week, as the meet was moved up to Friday, Jan. 18, to beat out Winter Storm Harper's arrival and the Beavers responded with great performances.
Highlighting the day for Bluffton was the distance medley relay team of Jennifer Matteson (Guysville/Alexander), Tami Groff (Versailles), Bailie Barrington (Waynesfield/Waynesfield-Goshen) and Alexis Cash (Gaines, Mich./Lake Fenton) who took home a victory after 4000 meters of racing, running a time of 13:28.69, seven seconds in front of Ohio Northern.
Adding onto a great day for the distance crew, Barrington grabbed first place in the 800 meter run, eeking out a victory in a time of 2:30.36, 0.42 seconds in front of Adrian's Corrisa Hamilton. Cash also added a fifth place finish in the 3000 with a run of 11:07.9 in the field of 20 runners.
Junior Tori Bowen (Wapakoneta/Elida) led the Beaver throwers with a fourth-place finish in the pole vault. Bowen cleared 3.36 meters (11 feet) on her second attempt before bowing out on her attempt at 3.51 (11 feet, 6 inches).
In the throws, sophomore Stephanie Fox (Pickerington/Central) added a seventh-place finish in the shot put field of 24 throwers with a toss of 10.67 meters (35 feet).
The men's side was highlighted by junior Connor Gulick (St. Louisville/Utica), who placed third overall in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:06.01 in the field of 26 runners. That came after a ninth-place finish in the mile, as he ran a time of 4:41.95. Also garnering a top 10 finish for the distance crew was junior Dakota Frost (Hicksville), who placed ninth in the 3000 meter run with a time of 9:29.64.
Leading the sprint squad was sophomore Omar Warlick (East Pointe, Mich./Clintondale) who placed 17th in the field of 55 runners with a time of 23.54 seconds. Warlick also garnered an 11th place finish in the long jump as he leaped 6.13 meters (20 feet, 1 inch).
Finally, the Beavers rounded out the meet with a top five finish in the 4x400 meter relay, as the team of Brandon James (Waynesfield/Waynesfield-Goshen), William Bakeman (Clinton Twp., Mich.), Noah Judd (Columbia City, Ind.) and Gulick fashioned a time of 3:38.89.
Bluffton will look to continue the upward trend with a two-day meet at the University of Findlay on Friday, Jan. 25 and Saturday, Jan. 26. A mix of field events and distance events will go off on Friday. The remaining field events are scheduled to go off at 10 a.m. on Saturday, with the running events starting at noon.