The Northwestern track and field team was split between two meets this past weekend. Part of the team traveled to Saint Paul, Minn. to compete in the Gene Glader Classic hosted by Bethel University, while the rest of the team returned to Buena Vista to compete in the Dennis Young Invite.
The team collected 14 first-place finishes between the two meets, six coming from the Dennis Young Invite and the rest coming from athletes competing at the Gene Glader Classic. Head Coach Scott Bahrke said this of the split weekend performances.
“Our athletes rise to the level of competition,” said Bahrke. “That was shown again this past weekend.”
Highlighting the contest in Saint Paul was the women’s 4×400-meter relay team of senior Megan Walhof, freshman Katie Landhuis, freshman Kendra Van Meeteren and junior Lauren Spranger, who met the NAIA national auto-mark in their first-place finish on Saturday. Spranger had another first place finish in the 400-meter.
“It was enjoyable to watch the women’s 4×400 meter relay qualify for nationals by hitting the automatic standard,” said Bahrke. “They took the lead on the first leg of the race and never looking back. There was really no other competition, but each of the ladies kept pushing and knew the splits they were going to have to record.”
The men’s mid-distance crew also had a strong outing at the Gene Glader Classic that included four first-place finishes. These impressive performances included freshman Levi TeBrink winning the 400-meter, senior Elliot Johnson taking the 800-meter, junior Kyle Anderson winning the 800-meter and freshman Tim Rose crossing the line first in the 1000-meter. Senior Jordan Strofaci took first in the 60-meter hurdles while the men’s 4×400-meter relay team of senior Scott Strand, Johnson, Anderson and TeBrink broke the tape first in their event.
At the Dennis Young Invite, freshman Cody Bauman got the meet started by claiming the top spot in the shot put with a toss of 14.95 meters. On the women’s side of the field events, senior Ally Austin out-jumped the field in the triple jump. Sophomore Will Norris and senior Amber Sandbulte took control of both the 3K races at the meet with a pair of first-place finishes. Sophomore Jahdai Dunk crossed the line first in the 60-meter while teammate freshman Sam Sinclair took the top spot in the mile.
The team heads into their final week of the regular indoor season as the team trains for the South Dakota State Invite hosted by SDSU in Brookings, SD. The two-day event begins at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13 and will resume the following day at 9:30 a.m. Bahrke had this to say of the upcoming meet.
“The SDSU Indoor Classic will be quite an experience for our athletes. There are 1600 athletes competing over the 2-day meet. I am looking forward to some of our athletes posting marks that will qualify them to compete in the conference meet next Friday & Saturday at Concordia University. I am also looking forward to how our athletes stack up against NCAA Division I and II athletes.”