Category Archives: Track & Field

Wheaton athletes excel at Indoor Track & Field Nationals

March 15 2018

Last weekend, nine impressive Wheaton athletes competed at the 2018 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Birmingham Crossplex in Alabama. The nine competitors consisted of three members and one relay of the Thunder women’s program and two individuals from the Wheaton men’s program. The Thunder women placed 41st out of the 105-team field and the Wheaton men came in 53rd against 98 other teams.

Wheaton saw plenty of success throughout the entire weekend. Wheaton women’s distance medley relay consisting of sophomore Marissa Heath, freshman Hannah Roeske, junior Erika Johnson and freshman Brianna Hawthorne took eighth place with a time of 11:51.92. In the semi-finals of the 60-meter hurdles, sophomore Favor Ezewuzie ran a time of 8.93 seconds to take second place in her heat and score seventh overall. This finish ensured her a spot in the finals in which she ran a time of 8.92 seconds to secure her sixth place finish.

Junior Leif Van Grinsven participated in the first four of seven events in the men’s heptathlon. In the 60-meter dash, Van Grinsven ran a time of 7.43 seconds to acquire 736 points. He earned 628 points in the long jump with a leap of 6.19 meters. In the shot put he recorded a throw of 11.49 meters to collect 575 points and his jump of 1.75 meters in the high jump earned him 585 points. Van Grinsven was 13th in the competition with 2,524 points on Friday before he withdrew from the competition for Saturday’s final three disciplines.

Freshman Hannah Roeske set a new school record in the women’s 3,000-meter run with a time of 9:44.34. This time earned her an eighth place spot on the podium out of a 17-woman field.

Senior Collin Gray also found a spot on the podium as he placed sixth in the men’s high jump with a leap of 2.06 meters. Junior Katie Lindquist finished 12th in the women’s high jump clearing a height of 1.60 meters.

Wheaton saw many of its athletes recognized as All-American athletes as the top eight finishers in each event at Nationals earn the honor. The relay quartet of Marissa Heath, Hannah Roeske, Erika Johnson and Brianna Hawthorne became All-Americans as a group and Roeske also earned the honor individually for her performance in the 3000-meter run. Ezewuzie earned All-American recognition for her speed in the 60-meter hurdles. Gray became a two-time All-American in the high jump, also earning the title at the 2016 Division III Outdoor Championships.

Alongside of displaying incredible athletic ability, Wheaton Thunder’s track and field athletes enjoyed sharing the entire experience of the Nationals Meet with those around them. Gray emphasized, “The national championship meet is always a great event with a lot of anticipation around it. It is a chance to see friends from around the country that we have built relationships with through the years and watch the best athletes in every event get to compete against each other. I think more than anything the national championship meet just brings an excitement that is unparalleled because it is the culmination of a season’s worth of hard work and the chance to get to test yourself against the best competitors from around the country.” He continued, “The highlight for me was watching the women’s team achieve such great success and rise to the occasion with their best performances.”

Hawthorne shared about her perspective of the meet as a freshman. “It was an experience like none I’ve ever had before. Although I was fairly nervous, I kept reminding myself that this was just the icing on top of the cake. We had done the hard work of making it to nationals and now we just got the chance to enjoy it. The highlight of the trip for me was thinking we had gotten ninth and missed the last All-American spot, but then looking to the big screen and seeing our name listed eighth and seeing my teammates’ faces light up. Then being able to stand on the podium alongside those girls was an experience like I’ve never had before.” She added, “I also really enjoyed watching my teammate Hannah run the incredible, smart, tough race that she ran in the 3000 meter the following day. It’s always a joy to see people I love and look up to succeed in the way she did.”

Roeske shared her excitement from the meet, “It is difficult to choose a highlight of the weekend. The whole experience is one that I will never forget! I am so grateful that I was able to share it with teammates! Standing on the podium, we were truly living a dream that we had worked so hard for. We each ran with all that God gave us, and he blessed it!”

Wheaton’s Track and Field teams are now looking forward to moving into the outdoor season.  Hawthorne shared she’s especially excited to try new events in the outdoor season. “I have never run a 1500 on the track before or the 3000-meter Steeplechase, which both are definite possibilities. Mostly I am just excited for more fun memories made with the team!” Other teammates expressed an excitement to compete outside in hopefully warmer weather. Gray added, “I’m especially looking forward to the two outdoor meets that we get to host here at Wheaton.  [They] are always a highlight of the outdoor season for us as a team.” Those two Wheaton hosted meets will be held on Apr. 7 and Apr. 21. Before then, however, the Wheaton Thunder will kick off their outdoor track and field season with the Augusta Early Spring Opener on Mar. 24 in Rock Island, Illinois.

 

Track & Field Women reclaim CCIW Champions title

March 1 2018

Last Saturday on Feb. 24, the Wheaton Women’s Track and Field team claimed the CCIW Indoor Championship title for the second year in a row. The athletes displayed outstanding performances, and both sophomore Favor Ezewuzie and freshman Hannah Roeske set new school records.

Roeske took first place in the 3000-meter race, followed by four other Thunder women who placed in the top six. Roeske ran in a time of 9:53.57, which set both a new school record and a CCIW meet record. Junior Aryn Embretson placed fourth in 10:33.67, Ellie Hawthorne took fifth in 10:41.78, and Megan Bailey achieved sixth place with a time of 10:42.90. Roeske also took the title in the 5000-meter run, finishing with a time of 17:38.04, nearly 16 seconds ahead of her closest competitor. Ellie Hawthorne finished in fourth place in 18:19.95, and Megan Bailey finished sixth with a mark of 18:39.95.

In the 4000-meter distance medley relay, the Thunder’s relay squad of junior Elise Alexander, junior Rose Favino, freshman Anna Joy Setran and freshman Brianna Hawthorne placed second in the conference, posting a time of 12:41.84.

Junior Erika Johnson won the conference title in the one-mile race by crossing the finish line in 5:12.59. Senior Ellie Hawthorne followed close behind, earning sixth place with a time of 5:18.97. In the 800-meter, Johnson placed third in 2:19.7, and Brianna Hawthorne finished fourth in 2:21.47.

Ezewuzie broke school records and took first place in both the 55-meter hurdles, with a time of 8.34 seconds, and the 55-meter race, with a mark of 7.22 seconds. Freshman Tess Sutton finished fourth in the same race in 8.61 seconds, and junior Abby Grace McGee captured fifth with a time of 8.64 seconds. Ezewuzie also set a new school record in the long jump for the second time this year. Her leap of 5.48 meters earned her second place in the event.

Wheaton’s 4×400 relay team of Marissa Heath, McGee, Favino and senior Nicole Kitchen finished in second place with their time of 4:04.42. Heath also placed in the 400-meter race, coming in fourth in 59.14.

The women’s pentathlon saw three Wheaton ladies in the top five. Kitchen accumulated 3,206 points for a first-place finish. She broke the school record of 3,080, which she set last year. Senior Makenna Sanderstook earned third place overall, with 2,945 points, and junior Cassidy Foxhoven scored a fifth-place finish, earning 2,671 points.

In the high jump, junior Katie Lindquist leapt 1.60 meters, good for a second place victory. Kitchen placed sixth in the high jump with an effort of 1.55 meters.

The Wheaton women are excited about their back-to-back championships. Coach Scott Bradley emphasized, “We had a great weekend on both sides. It was a total team effort with a lot of people really coming through from all the events. I could not have been more pleased with the team!”

Next, Wheaton will take their qualifying athletes and head to the last meet of the indoor track season in Birmingham, Ala. on Mar. 9-10. They are excited to compete and represent Wheaton at the 2018 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships.

 

Strong performances at CCIW men’s indoor track & field championships

March 1 2018

The Wheaton Men’s Track and Field team had a strong meet at the CCIW Indoor Track and Field Championships on Feb. 23-24. The men finished third place overall, marking the first time in school history the men have placed that high at the indoor conference meet. Overall, Wheaton scored 70 points to achieve their third place win. North Central won its second-consecutive indoor title with 240.5 points.

The 4000-meter distance medley relay team consisted of senior Hudson Thomas, junior Bradley Dowell, sophomore Logan Pinkerton and freshman Jonah Jones which won with a time of 10:25.34. In the 4×400 relay, the Thunder relay squad of freshman Andrew Lauber, sophomore Paul Amstutz, Dowell and Pinkerton took third place in a time of 3:25.20.

Collin Gray set a new meet record in the high jump with a leap of 2.08 meters. This record bested the 2016 record of 2.07 meters.

In the pole vault, junior Peter Bradley recorded a mark of 4.45 meters, placing second in the event. Senior Nathan Cruz vaulted 4.30 meters to come in tied for fifth, and junior Leif Van Grinsven tied for eighth with a height of 4.15 meters.

Sophomore Drew Smith and Joey Paolina represented the Thunder in the shot put. Smith finished sixth with a throw of 15.22 meters, and a toss of 14.16 meters gained Paolina seventh place.

Seth Massot and Simon Peterson placed fifth (15:10.87) and sixth (15:16.01), respectively, in the men’s 5000 meters, both contributing to Wheaton’s team total with their top-eight finishes. Pinkerton also placed in the 800-meter race with a time of 1:57.72, good for eighth place.

Robert Smith finished third overall in the heptathlon with 4,249 points. David Harris also placed for Wheaton in the heptathlon, finishing eighth with 2,917 points.

In the 55-meter hurdles, Van Grinsven took fourth in 8.08 seconds, followed by sophomore Andy Margason, who finished in a time of 8.10 seconds to place sixth.

In the 3000-meter event, Simon Peterson finished in 8:46.43 to place sixth, and Seth Massot placed eighth in 8:47.92. Seth Spykstra came in eighth in the one-mile, at a time of 4:24.10.

The team greatly enjoyed their last indoor meet all together since their next meet will wrap up the season at nationals. Coach Scott Bradley enthused, “We had a great weekend on both sides. It was a total team effort with a lot of people really coming through from all the event areas.” Senior Collin Gray also told the Record, “The Conference Championship meet is a great environment to compete in with a lot of energy because it is team focused more than any other the whole year. This makes us as athletes to do our absolute best for each other.” He added, “Going to nationals in Alabama next week will be a great experience. This year having past experience… I feel much more comfortable and believe that winning is a realistic possibility.”

Times from all over the country are still coming in, so the Wheaton Thunder is not sure exactly how many athletes they’ll be sending to NCAA DIII Nationals on March 9 and 10 in Birmingham, Ala. No matter who goes, the men’s track team will be preparing to jump into the outdoor track season later in March.

 

Men’s Track & Field

February 22 2018

Wheaton’s Men’s Track and Field team displayed their all-around talent  during the track meet last Friday, Feb. 16. The Thunder competed at North Central College’s “F. Lee Slick Invitational”, finishing fourth in the nine-team field.

The track and field team from North Central College itself finished first in the men’s standings with 225 points. Benedictine tallied 102.5 points to achieve second place and Lewis took third with 100 points. Wheaton scored a total of 61 points to come in fourth place and Aurora rounded out the top five with 49 points. College of DuPage finished sixth with 33.5 points, Harper acquired nine points in seventh place, UW-Whitewater was eighth with eight points and Carthage scored five points in ninth place.

Senior Collin Gray dominated the men’s high jump with a leap of 2.07 meters. In the shot put, sophomore Andrew Smith took third place by a throw of 14.38 meters.

The Thunder 4×400-meter relay squad of freshman Andrew Lauber, junior Bradley Dowell, freshman Matthew Faber and sophomore Logan Pinkerton won the event with a time of 3:24.76. Junior Simon Peterson placed third in the 3,000-meter run in 8:51.03 and junior Miles Trujillo was fourth in 8:58.03.

Lauber finished second place in the 400-meter dash in a time of 50.95 seconds and Dowell posted a time of 51.52 seconds to achieve a fifth-place finish. Junior Leif Van Grinsven took fourth place in the finals of the 60-meter hurdles in a time of 8.57 seconds.

The Thunder Men look forward to improving even more in the 2018 CCIW Indoor Track & Field Championships next weekend. The meet will be held in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Feb. 23 and 24.

 

Track & Field women place second at F. Lee Slick Invitational

February 22 2018

Wheaton’s Women’s Track and Field team showed impressive performances at North Central College’s “F. Lee Slick Invitational” last Friday, Feb. 16.

Lewis University came in first in the women’s overall standings with 172 points. Wheaton followed close behind and placed second with 132 points while North Central took third place with an overall score of 110 points. Aurora scored 82 points in fourth place and Carthage finished fifth with a total of 31 points.

The Wheaton Women saw success all around the competition, breaking school records in events from high jump to sprints. Junior Katie Lindquist set a new school record of 1.67 meters in the high jump, earning her first place in the event. The previous record had been a jump of 1.64 meters, set in 2011. Lindquist’s jump tied her for sixth in Division III rankings this season. Sophomore Favor Ezewuzie took second place in the long jump with a leap of 5.30 meters and senior Nicole Kitchen jumped 5.01 meters to place fifth.

Ezewuzie broke her own school record in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.80 seconds. This time earned her second place in the event. Ezewuzie also broke the school record in the 200-meter dash, earning second place with a time of 25.93 seconds. In the 60-meter hurdles she again placed second with a time of 9.07 seconds and teammate Kitchen finished fifth in the same event in 9.70 seconds.

The Thunder distance medley relay squad of junior Erika Johnson, sophomore Marissa Heath, freshman Brianna Hawthorne and freshman Hannah Roeske broke the previous school record of 12:10.12 set in 2009. They set a new record time of 11:57.85. Their incredible race ranks fifth in division this season. Junior Aryn Embretson took first place in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 10:32.63 and sophomore Hannah Oechsle placed third in 11:03.78. Senior Ellie Hawthorne ran the one-mile run in a time of 5:19.82 to catch first place and junior Elise Alexander finished fourth in 5:30.76. Junior Megan Bailey won the 5,000-meter run in 18:54.63.

The Women’s Track and Field team will enter the 2018 CCIW Indoor Track & Field Championships next weekend looking to defend their title as Division Champions. The meet will be held in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Feb. 23 and 24.

 

Wheaton men take fourth at Pat Heenan meet

February 15 2018

The Wheaton Men’s Track and Field team faced intense competition this Saturday at North Central’s Pat Heenan Track & Field Invitational. The Thunder showed strong performances and their hard work paid off with an overall fourth place. The North Central Track and Field team earned 236 points and took first place. Lewis scored second place with 97.5 points, Olivet Nazarene came in third with 97 points and Wheaton finished fourth, accumulating 59.5 points. University of Illinois-Chicago rounded out the top five with a total of 59 points.

Freshman Jonah Jones won the 3,000-meter run, crossing the finish line in a time of 8:47.65. Sophomore Logan Pinkerton took fourth place in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:58.80.

The Wheaton men also performed well in the meet’s sprint races. Senior Grayson McComb ran a time of 7.10 seconds in the 60-meter dash, a time which earned him a second place victory. Teammate and freshman Matthew Faber ran a time of 50.87 seconds in the 400-meter dash and took fourth place in the event. The Thunder’s 4×400-meter relay squad consisting of freshman Andrew Lauber, freshman Max Veth, junior Bradley Dowell and Pinkerton took second place in the event and posted a time of 3:22.50.

Senior Collin Gray continued his successful season with a win in the high jump. This week he reached 2.08 meters, just .02 meters away from the school record and his personal best.

Gray told us that the coaching staff and his previous years of track experience have been some major contributors to his success this season. He explained, “The great start to the season for me and the whole team is really a tribute to the coaching staff and the great job they do in planning our training in the offseason to prepare us for meets. Being new to the sport …coming into college, the three past seasons have been great experiences where I have learned a lot and they have prepared me to be successful this year.” He also focused on the value that the team gave his track experience: “The best part of being a member of the track team is that it truly feels like a family that goes well beyond sports. This has made a tremendous impact on my personal experience at Wheaton from a spiritual standpoint as well as an athletic standpoint. The track team has so many members that the best part of starting the season is getting to spend extended amounts of time with teammates at meets and build relationships as a result.” Gray concluded by adding, “Track is very much a sport where you are always in competition with yourself and becomes very easy to find your identity as an athlete in your performance. As a senior who has learned from struggling with this my goal now is always just to glorify God through giving full effort at every meet.”

The Men’s Thunder Track and Field team will compete again on Friday, Feb. 16, at the F. Lee Slick Invitational in Naperville, IL. After this weekend’s competition, the team will compete in the CCIW Conference meet and then move onto the indoor nationals meet, held in early March.

 

Wheaton women conquer at Pat Heenan meet

February 15 2018

The Women’s Track and Field team continued their dominating season by winning North Central’s Pat Heenan Track & Field Invitational. The Thunder competed against eight other teams and came out on top. The Wheaton women scored 131 points to win the event overall. North Central finished with 115 points to score second and Olivet Nazarene University acquired 98 points to take third place.

Individually, the Wheaton women athletes strongly showcased their talents. Sophomore Favor Ezewuzie broke three Wheaton school records, one in the 60-meter dash, one in the 60-meter hurdles and yet another in the long jump. She broke her own school record with her time of 9.03 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles. Junior Abby Grace McGee finished the hurdle race in 9.36 seconds to take third place and freshman Tess Sutton took fourth in 9.40 seconds. Ezewuzie matched the Wheaton 60-meter dash record set by Renee Bettinger in 2007 by finishing in 7.87 seconds and taking first place. In the prelims for the 60-meter dash, Ezewuzie broke the old school record with a time of 7.83 seconds.

Sophomore Marissa Heath and Ezewuzie posted identical times of 26.43-seconds in the 200-meter dash to tie for first in the event.

Ezewuzie set her third school record for the meet in the women’s long jump in which she placed second with a leap of 5.41 meters. The Wheaton long jump record was previously held by Molly Walton who jumped 5.26 meters in 2007. Teammate junior Kiki Francois took fifth place with a long jump of 5.09 meters. Junior Katie Lindquist continued to succeed in the high jump as she placed second with a jump of 1.63 meters. Senior Nicole Kitchen made a height of 1.58 meters and placed fourth in the high jump.

Freshman Hannah Roeske took first place in the one-mile run with a time of 4:58.67, breaking the previous Wheaton school-record time of 4:58.81 set in 2012 by Jaime Orewiler. Roeske’s mile time currently ranks seventh in Division III this season. Junior Erika Johnson was second in the one-mile run, crossing the finish with a time of 5:11.03 and freshman Brianna Hawthorne took fifth place in 5:19.56. Junior Aryn Embretson competed in the 5,000-meter run and placed fourth with a time of 18:15.92.

Junior Rose Favino finished fourth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:01.51. The Women’s 4×400-meter relay squad of Heath, McGee, Johnson and Kitchen took first with a time of 4:02.15.

The Women’s Thunder Track and Field team will return to compete on Friday, Feb. 16, at the F. Lee Slick Invitational in Naperville, IL. After this weekend’s competition, the women’s team will compete in the CCIW Conference meet and then move on to the indoor nationals meet, held in early March.

 

Third place finish for Men’s Track & Field at UChicago

February 8 2018

The Wheaton Men’s Track team saw strong performances in their second meet of the season. The team competed at University of Chicago’s “Windy City Rumble” last Saturday, Feb. 3. They secured third place overall against a competitive 11-team field. Hope College’s men captured first with 126.5 points, and University of Chicago came in with 118.5 points to take second place. Wheaton followed closely with 101 points. Aurora took fourth place, scoring 88.5 points and Chicago State racked up 48 points to secure fifth place.

The Thunder placed in events all throughout the track and field competition on Friday. Wheaton junior Leif Van Grinsven won the heptathlon event, scoring a total of 4,919 points. This victory established a new Wheaton record and Van Grinsven’s score currently ranks third in Division III this season. The Thunder’s 4×400-meter relay team consisting of of freshman Andrew Lauber, freshman Matthew Faber, junior David Dischinger and freshman Max Veth captured first place with a time of 3:25.79. Faber and Veth also competed in the 200-meter dash with Faber placing third in 23.32 seconds and Max Veth placing fourth in 23.34 seconds. In the 60-meter hurdles, sophomore Andy Margason posted a time of 9.18 seconds to capture third place. Senior Marcus Smith placed fourth in the open 60 meter dash with a time of 7.20 seconds. Freshman Jonah Jones ran the one mile in 4:24.53 to take home a third-place victory.

In the field events, senior Collin Gray won the men’s high jump, leaping 2.07 meters. Junior Nathan Cruz vaulted 4.26 meters to capture third place in the men’s pole vault. Sophomore Drew Smith competed in the men’s shot put and took third with a throw of 13.24 meters.

Coach Scott Bradley expressed his excitement at the teams’ continued work and improvement, “Overall, it was a positive meet. Most people who ran the same events showed improvement, and that is really the name of the game right now.” Coach Bradley also discussed how the team captains this year, David Harris, Nathan Cruz, Seth Spykstra and Hudson Thomas, have enhanced the track team experience. “They are a great group of people and they are doing a great job with our team. They do a lot behind the scenes to help the coaches and their teammates have a better experience.  I am very grateful for them.”

Team captain and junior Nathan Cruz shared some of his thoughts on last week’s meet. “I’m not disappointed in how I did last week. There’s always things to improve on, but it’s good to see some consistency on the pole vault runway. As a team, we placed well for such a large field. There were many strong performances, especially from our younger guys: Andy Margason, James Zeller, Robert Smith, Matthew Faber and Andrew Lauber (to name a few of many). I’m really pleased to see the hard work that all of our guys have been consistently putting since September is coming to fruition.” Cruz also talked about his favorite parts of being a team captain: “I enjoy being in a position to speak from experience and encourage athletes who are feeling down. I also love spending time with the boys, and co-leading a small group.  A theme of the guy’s small group is to grow in understanding of what it means to worship God through athletics.  You’ll constantly hear us praying: “Lord, let us worship you with our bodies today,” but what does that imply? What are we really asking? As a captain, I am most excited to serve my teammates, and also to help continue to cultivate a loving, encouraging, edifying and Christ-centered team.”

The Thunder’s Men’s Track and Field team will continue striving towards its goal as they compete in three more meets before NCAA Division III Indoor Track Nationals and then move into the outdoor season. The team will return to action on Friday, Feb. 9 at the North Central College Invitational meet in Naperville.

 

Women’s Track & Field excel in their first indoor meet

February 1 2018

The Wheaton Thunder Women’s Track and Field team kicked off their 2018 season with impressive performances at Carthage’s “Tadd Metzger Invitational” on Friday, January 27. The Women Thunder took second place out of the nine teams present.

Overall, the UW-Oshkosh team finished first with 143 points with Wheaton close behind scoring 137 points. Carthage racked up 116 points to capture third place and Aurora took fourth place with 98.5 points. Concordia came in fifth with 80.5 points.

The Wheaton Women saw success in the distance, sprint and field events. On the distance side, junior Aryn Embretson started the season off well with a first place victory in the 5,000-meter run, posting a time of 18:24.11. Freshman Hannah Roeske earned first place in the 3,000-meter run, crossing the finish at 10:11.07. Junior Megan Bailey took second in 10:52.53 and sophomore Hannah Oechsle won fourth place in 11:06.85. Freshman Anna Joy Setran finished the one-mile race in 5:37.90 to capture fifth place. Junior Erika Johnson captured first place in the 800-meter run in 2:20.87, just ahead of freshman Brianna Hawthorne who took second place with a time of 2:22.58.

The sprinters also experienced success in their events. Sophomore Favor Ezewuzie won women’s 55-meter dash, finishing in 7.33 seconds. In the prelims of the event, she ran a time of 7.32 seconds which tied Wheaton’s school record in the event, set by Renee Bettinger in 2011. Ezewuzie also ran the 55-meter hurdles in a time of 8.63 seconds to place second. She set a new school record in the event, beating the previous mark by .01 seconds. Junior Abby Grace McGee also competed in the 55-meter hurdles, capturing fifth place at a time of in 8.99 seconds. Sophomore Marissa Heath ran the 200-meter dash in 26.50 seconds, securing a second place finish. Junior Rose Favino finished second in the 400-meter dash in 1:03.54. Wheaton’s 4X400-meter relay team of Heath, Hawthorne, Johnson and senior Nicole Kitchen posted a time of 4:07.84 to finish first in the event.

Junior Katie Lindquist started off her high jump season strong with a first-place jump of 1.64 meters. Fellow junior Anna Ifft took fourth in the triple jump, leaping of 10.22 meters.

The Wheaton Track women feel excited about where they are at this point in the season and are excited to see how they can continue to grow. Favino told us, “I would say that overall we had a strong first meet and established a good foundation to build the rest of the season upon. We’ve all been training hard all fall, so it is nice to finally be able to race and see the pay off.” Hawthorne added, “I think the team as a whole also had a solid start, definitely have a lot of room to grow, though, which is good spot to be in at this point in the season.” Heath echoed, “In regards to my personal performance, I feel that it was a good place to start but there is definitely room to improve throughout the season. The first meet is always a mixture of disappointments and surprises, so as a whole we definitely reflected that. Some people were really excited and even got personal records! Others were not as happy, that’s normally how the first competition goes.” Coach Scott Bradley said, “It was a good start for us! You never really know what to expect at the first meet but overall we are in a good place with our healthy athletes. We do have some key injuries which is tough at this point, but we hope everyone returns soon.”

While everyone’s excited to see future successes this season, many of the Wheaton women told us they’re most excited to experience this track season as a community of athletes. Favino reported, “I’m really excited to see how far we’ll go this year but mostly I’m just so thankful for our coaches, this team and being able to run alongside this wonderful group of people each and every day!” Embretson also said, “As a senior, the thing I get most excited for now is watching the younger members on the team compete and show what they are capable of. This year we have a lot of talented newcomers who will be fun to watch grow in their respective events.” Lindquist added, “I’m excited to strengthen my friendships, make great memories and win conference for the second year in a row!!”

Coach Bradley summed up their goal: “The goal is always the same, and that is to honor God and to worship Him through our participation on this team. If we do that, then the winning and the losing will take care of itself.”

The Wheaton Women’s Track and Field team will continue their pursuit of a second conference title at the University of Chicago’s “Windy City Invitational” on February 2nd- 3rd.

 

Track and Field Recap

The men’s track team struggled early on as they finished sixth of seven teams at the WashU Mini Meet. However, they bounced back as they finished their next three meets in fourth place of nine teams, fifth place of ten teams and seventh out of 29, respectively.

One of the most notable athletes of the season is senior Tommy Cole, who had numerous top finishes in sprints and hurdles. Cole obtained the 12th fastest 110-meter hurdles in Division III, with a time of 15.26 seconds. Cole also had a first place finish in each of the outdoor track meets this season, and was able to break a school record. Junior Sola Olateju also put together an impressive season in sprints and jumps. Olateju had four top four or better finishes this season and was a key player in gaining points for the Thunder. Junior Colin Gray, who is a record holding jumper for the Wheaton Thunder, also had a successful season as he had four top five finishes. Other notable feats of this season are the multiple broken school records: Olateju broke the record for the triple jump, and sophomore Leif Van Grinsven broke the heptathlon record.

        The women’s track and field team had an impressive season, finishing in the top three of each of their four meets, including a first place finish against 27 schools at their recent meet at Benedictine University. A notable team for this year was the 4×100-meter team that was only .01 seconds away from beating the school record during the first meet. Senior Jordan Tuin has had multiple top five finishes in long distance races. Freshman Favor Ezewuzie has also had a promising season as she has four top three finishes, some of which have come from being on the 4×100-meter relay team. In addition, they broke many school records: freshman Marissa Heath broke the 200-meter record, the 1,600-meter relay team broke a record and junior Nicole Kitchen broke the record for the pentathlon.

As senior Allison Colins reflected on this past season she said, “I think that our team this year has a good balance of veteran leaders and young talent. We have a number of athletes who are in contention to compete at the National Championships at the end of May and coming off a conference win during our indoor season we are hoping to carry that momentum through and finish off this season well!”

The men and women will do all they can to keep their momentum and try and gain more success as they look to the post-season quickly approaching in the next few weeks.