By Clinton Dick
Three school records were set and one was tied by Southwestern athletes at the final indoor track meet. Those who qualified for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Indoor Track and Field Championships competed March 1-3 at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.
“We talked before the event that we were ready to break school records because we came close before,” said Jim Helmer, head men’s track coach. “It was an outstanding meet for us.”
Colton Siler, psychology senior, tied the school record in the 60 meter dash earlier this season with a time of 6.91 seconds. The title is now his as he broke the record with a time of 6.87 seconds at the national meet.
“(Siler) was really determined and wanted to own that himself,” said Mike Kirkland, head women’s track coach. “He stepped up and had a great performance and you expect that from a senior.” Siler finished 11th in the race.
The distance medley relay team also broke a school record and came close to qualifying for the finals in the preliminary race.
“We were three seconds out of qualifying,” said Helmer. The team, consisting of Sam McDaniel, business administration sophomore, Chandler Kirkhart, business administration senior, Darnell Pittman, business administration senior and Frank Adelman, biology junior, finished with a time of 10:15.21 minutes and placed 13th in the race.
In the men’s 5000 meter race, Colton McNinch, biology sophomore, was one place away from qualifying for the finals.
“They took 12 to the finals and he was 13th,” said Helmer. Despite not getting into the final round of the race, McNinch set a school record with a time of 14:56.58 minutes.
Chris Copeland, psychology senior, matched his performance earlier this season at the Nebraska Tune-Up in the men’s 600 meter run with a time of 1:21.11 minutes. The time ties the school record set by Copeland in Nebraska. He finished 12th in the race.
Rhea Rollins, physical performance junior, was the only athlete from the women’s team to qualify for nationals. She ran a time of 9.21 seconds in the 60 meter hurdles to finished 18th in the race.
“Her time was a little bit off of her school record, but it was her second fastest time ever,” said Kirkland. “She was fighting a bit of a sinus infection all week and it affected her equilibrium a bit. She didn’t have the best circumstances but she didn’t’ hold back.”
The track and field teams now shift their attention to the Southwestern Invitational beginning at 11 a.m. March 15 at Richard L. Jantz Stadium. The meet is the first of the outdoor season.
“It is a quick turnaround,” said Kirkland. “Usually in the past it has been around 10 to 12 teams at the meet. For a lot of other teams, this is going to be their first meet.”
Helmer is focused on getting the athletes who have had a break back up to speed.
“It is time for those who didn’t’ qualify for nationals to get back to competing again,” said Helmer. “We always have a really good competitive meet and we are looking forward to that.”
Here are the final results of Southwestern athletes from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Indoor Track and Field Championships March 1-3 at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.
Women’s 60 meter hurdles
18 Rhea Rollins 9.21 seconds
Men’s 60 meter dash
11 Colton Siler 6.87
Men’s 600 meter run
12 Chris Copeland 1:21.11 minutes
14 Darnell Pittman 1:21.47
Men’s 5000 meter run
13 Colton McNinch 14:56.58
Men’s distance medley relay
13 Southwestern – 1. Sam McDaniel, 2. Chandler Kirkhart, 3. Pittman, 4. Frank Adelman 10:15.21
Men’s long jump
14 Kevin Rodgers 6.60 meters
Clinton Dick is a junior majoring in convergent journalism. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.