The SLU track and field team showed off one of their best performances of the season at the Atlantic 10 Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships on Feb. 21 in Kingston, Rhode Island. The men finished sixth, their best finish yet, and the women came in a respectable ninth place.
Many of the men’s team members placed in the top spots or earned All-Conference honors, which are given to the first-place and second-place finishers of each event. Junior Neal Fitzpatrick earned second-team All-Conference honors in the 5000-meter race with a time of 14:42.83. He lost the nail-biter by four one-hundredths of a second to a Davidson runner. Fitzpatrick also took the seventh-place spot in the 3000-meter race with a time of 8:33.16.
Freshman Manuel De Backer finished third in the 5000-meter race (14:50.83) and came in fifth in the 3000-meter race (8:29.33). Fellow freshmen Wes Schoenthal and Tannock Blair competed well on the track as well in the 800-meter race. Schoenthal grabbed fifth place with a time of 1:56.92, and Blair was less than seconds behind in sixth place with a time of 1:56.96.
SLU’s relay teams also made their mark at the conference championships. The 4×800-meter team of Blair, sophomore Ryan Noonan, junior Albert Marban and Schoenthal put on an exciting show when they came in second by only seven-tenths of a second to the top team with a time of 7:40.82. They shattered the school record, along with earning second-team All-Conference honors. The 4×400-meter team of junior Kyle Clinkingbeard, sophomore Josh Freivogel, junior Nathan Hall and junior Griffin McCurren finished in third place with a time of 3:21.45. Finally, the distance medley team of freshman Dorrian Gordon, Hall, freshman Kevin Ganahl and freshman Sean Conlin earned a fourth-place finish (10:12.49).
The men also fared well on the field. Freshman Connor Stelljes finished third in the shot put and earned a school record of 15.44 meters. Senior Robert Tosie earned sixth place in the weight throw at 14.86 meters. Freshman Will Hinegardner slotted in at eighth place in the high jump with a jump of 1.94 meters. Freshman Jaryn Blackshear-Bryant broke his own school record in the heptathlon with 4268 points and earned seventh place.
The women competed strongly in several events as well. The 4×800-meter relay team of sophomore Elise Moore, senior Laura Schlueter, sophomore Mary Kelly and junior Emma Kidd earned second-team All-Conference honors with a school-record time of 9:05.51, which was six one-hundredths of a second away from the first-place finishers, Fordham.
Kidd also earned third place in the 800-meter race with a time of 2:14.18, and Moore came in fourth with a time of 2:14.91. Freshman Ann Harlos took seventh place in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.97. Freshman Anna Schmitz represented SLU in the long-distance races with an eighth place finish in the 5,000 meters (17:47.38).
Senior Stephanie Ulrich finished in fifth place in the high jump with a mark of 3.45 meters. She also competed well in the pole vault; she placed seventh with a mark of 1.65 meters. Junior Kamaria Gage earned eighth place in the weight throw (14.97 meters).