By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
DEFIANCE, Ohio - The Bluffton University track and field team culminated their indoor season with the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships at Defiance College on Saturday, Feb. 16.
The women's team placed sixth overall with 52 points, defeating Mount St. Joseph, Anderson, Franklin, and Defiance. Rose-Hulman brought home the team title with 163 points, 32.5 ahead of Hanover.
They were highlighted by junior Tori Bowen (Wapakoneta/Elida) who became the HCAC champion in the pole vault with an HCAC-record breaking vault of 3.62 meters (11 feet, 10.5 inches), breaking the meet record that was previously held by 2017 Bluffton graduate Terrill Webb. That mark also vaults her into the 26th position on the NCAA Division III national list.
A pair of the Beavers scored big points in the shot put as senior Maelinn Delong (Archbold/Bryan) placed third with a toss of 37 feet, 5.75 inches, while sophomore Stephanie Fox (Pickerington/Central) was fourth with a throw of 35 feet, 10.75 inches.
The other field event scorer for Bluffton was sophomore Remi Bower (Deshler/PatrickHenry) who cleared 4 feet, 11 inches in the high jump to place in the seventh position.
Switching to the track, junior Alexis Cash (Gaines, Mich./Lake Fenton) started off the day with a second place finish in the 5000 meters with a time of 19:10.69. Cash followed that up later in the evening with a fourth-place mark in the 3000 meters with a time of 11:00.92.
Senior Jennie Matteson (Guysville/Alexander) also added a fifth-place 5000 meter finish with a time of 20:13.09.
Sophomore Bailie Barrington (Waynesfield/Waynesfield-Goshen) also scored in two events as she started her day with a sixth-place mark in the mile (5:32.40), and followed that with a fifth-place finish in the 800 meters (2:27.22).
Bluffton also added points in the distance medley relay with a fifth-place finish by the team of Kimbrerly Hetrick (Fremont/Ross), Tami Groff (Versailles), Hope Nixon (Johnstown/Johnstown-Monroe), and Arie Cox (Ontario), who recorded a time of 14:45.85.
In her first meet of the year after sitting with an injury, senior Keturah Warlick (East Point, Mich./Clintondale) was able to grab a point in the 60-meter dash with an eighth-place finish in a time of 8.37 seconds.
The men's team finished in the fifth position with 45 points, defeating Anderson, Mount St. Joseph, Franklin, Transylvania, and Defiance. Rose-Hulman won the conference championship with 199.5 points.
Freshman Noah Judd (Columbia City, Ind.) led the field event athletes with a third-place mark in the long jump with a leap of 21 feet, 0.5 inch.
Fellow freshman Brandon James (Waynesfield/Waynesfield-Goshen) added a fifth-place finish in the triple jump with a leap of 42 feet, 2.25 inches. James also finished fifth in the 60 meter hurdles final with a time of 9.19 seconds.
Elsewhere on the track, freshman Daniel Williams (Lansing, Mich./Waverly) was third in the 60 meter dash with a time of 7.19 seconds, while sophomore Omar Warlick (East Pointe, Mich./Clintondale) finished seventh in the 60 with a time of 7.39 seconds. Warlick also grabbed points in the 200 with a time of 23.64 seconds and a seventh-place mark.
Junior Connor Gulick (St. Louisville/Utica) added a sixth-place mark in the 800 meter with a time of 2:02.67. Fellow junior Dakota Frost (Edgerton/Hicksville) added a fifth-place mark in the 3000 with a big kick at the end of the race for a time of 9:11.05.
The Beavers also scored points in all three relays they put on the track on Saturday. The 4x200 team of Williams, Christian Parker (Urbana/West Liberty-Salem), Dalton Taynor (Troy/Miami East), and Warlick was fourth (1:34.98), while the 4x400 team of James, Warlick, Gulick, and Judd also finished fourth (3:34.42).
The distance medley relay team of Joshua Ehlers (Defiance/Tinora), Keyon Camden (Wayne/Elmwood), Austin Hernandez (Marion/Ridgedale) and Jacob Hill (Dayton/Wayne) grabbed three points with their sixth-place time of 11:38.19.