By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
WESTERVILLE, Ohio - The Bluffton University track and field team traveled to Otterbein University to battle through cold and rainy conditions at the April Fools Invitational on Saturday, March 30.
The women's team placed 10th in the field of 17 teams with 25 points, while the men placed 14th out of 18 with 21.5 points.
One athlete who did not have to battle the elements was junior Tori Bowen (Wapakoneta/Elida) who continued to impress with another victory in the pole vault as she cleared 3.52 meters (11 feet, 6.5 inches) to continue her fantastic junior season.
Sophomore Stephanie Fox (Pickerington/Central) had another superb effort in the discus, this time placing third with a throw of 32.59 meters (106 feet, 11 inches). Senior Maelinn Delong (Archbold/Bryan) garnered an eighth place mark in the hammer at 36.89 meters (121 feet).
Sticking with field events, sophomore Remi Bower (Deshler/Patrick Henry) jumped a new collegiate best 1.56 meters (5 feet, 1.25 inches), good enough for the sixth spot in the field of 23 jumpers, moving her to second on the HCAC outdoor performance list and earning the HCAC automatic qualifier.
The running events on the women's side were highlighted by a pair of superb performances at 5000 meters as junior Alexis Cash (Gaines, Mich./Lake Fenton) ran a time of 18:44.26 and senior Jennie Matteson (Guysville/Alexander) finished in 19:04.88, placing 7th and 12th, respectively, as each of them finished with their best times of 2019. Both times are also HCAC qualifying marks and put them in the top five on the HCAC list.
Sophomore Bailie Barrington (Waynesfield/Waynesfield-Goshen) added a sixth-place mark in the 800 in the field of 34 women with a time of 2:29.15.
The men's team was highlighted by a pair of top five finishes for freshman Noah Judd (Columbia City, Ind.). Judd placed second in the long jump with a leap of 6.45 meters (21 feet, 2 inches), which is a career-best and an HCAC and All-Ohio Championship qualifying mark. The jump also puts him third on the HCAC performance list. Judd also placed fourth in the triple jump with a leap of 12.18 meters (39 feet, 11.5 inches), the fifth best mark in the conference.
A pair of Beavers also scored points in the high jump as freshmen Brandon James (Waynesfield/Waynesfield-Goshen) and senior Keyon Camden (Wayne/Elmwood) were fourth and eighth, respectively, with a pair of personal bests.
The performances on the track were highlighted by junior Connor Gulick (St. Louisville/Utica) as he broke the 2:00 barrier in the 800 meter race, running 1:59.95 and finishing eighth in the event. The junior was only the second HCAC athlete to break the barrier this season.
Freshman Dalton Taynor (Troy/Miami East) grabbed a point in the 100 meter dash, as well, as his time of 11.54 seconds qualified him for the finals, before his 11.69 second run gave him an eighth place finish.
Also grabbing an HCAC qualifying time was junior Dakota Frost (Edgerton/Hicksville), who ran a season-best 15:48.23, giving him a 13th place finish in the field of 56 runners!
The Beavers look forward to drier and warmer conditions on Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6 when they head to the Marv Frye Invitational at Ohio Wesleyan University. The hammer and javelin competitions are set to take place on Friday at 3:30 p.m., while the rest of the meet will commence on Saturday with field events set for 12 p.m. and running events scheduled for 2 p.m.