Thunder excels in CCIW indoor track and field championships
Women take second and men take fourth
By Rebekah McGee
Last week was the Thunder’s Women’s and Men’s Track and Field teams succeeded in the CCIW Indoor Championships. The Wheaton women took second, acquiring 112 points while the men took fourth with 70. Both teams were beat out by host and tournament champion North Central College.
Wheaton athletes were competitive in events of all distances. Junior Favor Ezewuzie led the way in the sprinting category by finishing first in both the 60-meter dash, with a time of 7.63 seconds, and the 60-meter hurdles, with a time of 8.72 seconds. Her dominant hurdle performance set a new school and NCAA Division III record. Furthermore, in the field, Ezewuzie won the long jump with a leap of 5.74 meters. Collectively, these athletic successes earned Ezewuzie Track Athlete of the Meet.
Senior Natasha Brown took first place in the 200-meter dash, winning by less than one one-hundredth of a second. Ezewuzie placed third closely behind her with a time of 25.36. Brown placed fifth in the 60-meter dash, crossing the finish line with a time of 7.89. In the 60-meter hurdles, senior Abby Grace McGee and freshman Sydney Jones finished in fourth and fifth place respectively with times of 9.26 and 9.46. Senior Rose Favino took sixth in the 400-meter run, finishing in 1:00.56.
The Wheaton men closed impressive times in sprinting. Senior Leif Van Grinsven earned the CCIW champion title in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.38. Junior Andy Margason followed close behind, finishing eighth in 8.84 seconds. In the 400-meter, freshman Andrew Lauber earned fourth place by finishing in 49.85. Bradley Dowell also placed in the 400-meter, finishing in 51.21.
In the distance races, junior Aryn Embretson won first place in both the 5000-meter and 3000-meter run. In the one-mile run, junior Erika Johnson placed fifth in 5:17.59. In the one-mile run, freshman Jonah Jones finished in 4:23.20 to take fourth and Riley placed seventh in 4:25.92. Freshman Kevin Riley placed eighth in the 3000-meter in 8:53.18 and sophomore Seth Massot placed eighth in the 5000-meter in 15:14.84.
The Wheaton women’s 4×400 relay squad of Favino, McGee, senior Charlotte Matzal and Brown finished third with a time of 4:00.64. Wheaton’s men’s 4×400 relay team of junior Paul Amstutz, Lauber, freshman Max Veth and sophomore Logan Pinkerton won fifth at the meet, finishing with a time of 3:27.51.
The men’s heptathlon competition saw junior Robert Smith place second overall with 4,369 points, while freshman Chris Albert finished in seventh with 3,634. On the jumping front, senior Katie Lindquist placed fifth in the high jump due to a leap of 1.58 meters and sophomore Stephen Matthew hit the 1.95 meter mark, earning sixth in the same event.
Reflecting on this past weekend, Albert said, “Even though track is typically an individual sport, the conference meet really brought us together as a team. Our community feels unified and supportive and I’m excited to see where this momentum will bring us as we move into the outdoor season.”
Both teams have two weeks before jumping back into competition with the Division III Indoor National Championships Boston, Mass. Afterward, both teams will compete in the spring outdoor track and field season.