By Clinton Dick

Staff reporter

According to Mike Kirkland, head women’s track coach, the Southwestern track and field team had an “awfully good” start to the outdoor season. The team hosted the Southwestern Invitational Thursday at Richard L. Jantz Stadium.

“This is one of the bigger SC Invites we have had in several years,” said Kirkland. “The comments I kept getting from coaches is ‘we love coming to this meet and facility.’”

Fifteen schools attended the meet and Southwestern had several athletes stand out in their performance. For many competitors, this was their first meet in nearly a month.

“In some cases we weren’t as rested and fresh, but they competed extremely well,” said Kirkland. “I appreciate their efforts on that because it is a test of mentality rather than their physical strength.”

For the women, Christine Sheppard, chemistry sophomore, continued her success from the indoor season and placed in the top 10 in both the 100 meter dash and 200 meter dash. In the 100, Sheppard tied her career best time of 12.61 seconds to place sixth of 19 competitors. She finished ninth in the 200 with a time of 25.95 seconds. Sheppard was also a component of the 4×100 meter relay team that finished fourth overall with a time of 49.86 seconds.

“The 4×100 meter relay team probably ran the fastest time we’ve had in two years,” said Kirkland. “That group has a lot of promise.”

The other legs of the 4×100 meter relay team were Rachel Busch, early childhood development freshman, Taylor Sisneors, biology sophomore, and Kerisha Broadus, athletic training freshman.

Jennifer Hendrixson, business administration senior, finished in the top spot in the women’s 3000 meter steeplechase with a time of 12:30.26 minutes.

“Jen Hendrixson got off to a great start with her steeplechase and opened up the season four seconds off of her career best,” said Kirkland.

In the women’s field events, Mandy Bostwick, elementary education senior, placed eight out of 24 competitors in the hammer throw. She was only a few feet off of her career best with a distance of 39.67 meters.

In the men’s events, the men’s 4×400 meter relay team hit a provisional qualifying mark for nationals with a time of 3:16.72 minutes. The time placed them second of 17 competing relay teams.

Chandler Kirkhart came off of a national-qualifying indoor season to place third out of 22 runners in the 400 meter dash. He finished with a time of 49.12 seconds.

Chris Copeland, psychology senior, and Darnell Pittman, business administration junior, finished second and third in the 800 meter run with times of 1:56.38 and 1:57.52 minutes.

Sam McDaniel, business administration sophomore, came within a second of first place in the 1500 meter run. He finished with a time of 4:04.41 minutes behind Jack Taylor of Cowley College, who had a time of 4:03.52 minutes.

Colton McNinch, biology sophomore, and Frank Adelman, biology junior, went one and two in the 5000 meter run. McNinch placed first with a time of 15:33.04 minutes and Adelman was second with a time of 15:34.73 minutes. Adelman also won the 3000 meter steeplechase with a time of 9:52.11 minutes and fellow teammate, Eric Anders, biology sophomore, placed third in the event with a time of 10:08.66 minutes.

In the field events, Chris Paddock, philosophy and religious studies sophomore, placed fourth out of 40 competitors in the discus throw with a distance of 47.10 meters.

The team’s next meet will take place March 30 and possibly 31. The coaches are in the process of making a decision between the Friend’s University Invitational in Wichita that takes place March 30 and the Cowley Invitational in Arkansas City March 31.

“We are sending our distance runners to Friends,” said Kirkland. “As far as Saturday, we haven’t decided whether we are sending our entire team to Cowley the next day. The Friends meet might be attractive to go to because a lot of our conference opponents will be there.”

Kirkland said the decision will most likely not be made until after spring break.

Clinton Dick is a junior majoring in convergent journalism. You may e-mail him at clinton.dick@sckans.edu.