Track and Field continue to dominate

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Track and Field continue to dominate

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The Outdoor Track and Field season started off with a bang at the Billiken Kickoff Meet on March 19.  Many schools came to the SLU Medical Center Stadium to partake in the event, such as Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Lindenwood and Valparaiso.  The women dominated the meet with a first-place finish, and the men also succeeded with a second-place finish.

Some first-place highlights on the women’s side included a 100-meter dash from sophomore Mackenzie Bon with a time of 12.65.  Junior Hannah Rhode took the title for the 400-meter run with a time of 59.54.  Senior Laura Schlueter won the 800-meter run with a time of 2:16.51.  Junior Emma Kidd finished first in the 1500-meter run in 4:42.65.  Freshman Elise Marker took the 5000-meter run with a time of 17:30.89.  Senior Stephanie Uhrich earned the top place in the high jump at 1.61 meters.

The men fared well in the competition as well.  Freshman Wes Schoenthal placed first in the 800-meter run as well as the 1500-meter run, with times of 1:54.73 and 3:53.61, respectively.  Junior DeeJay Owens beat his own triple jump record and earned second place in the meet with a mark of 13.88 meters.  Freshman Will Hinegardner won the high jump at 1.96 meters, almost surpassing the current school record.

The success only grew from there for both teams, as they traveled to California for the San Francisco State Distance Carnival, and to Texas for the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays on March 31-April 2.  They shattered four school records despite being away from home.  Freshman Manuel De Backer hauled through the 10,000-meter run with a time of 30:01.32.  Schoenthal improved his 1500-meter-run time to 3:51.59.

At the same time, other teammates back home were competing in the Washington University Invitational.  Bonk cut down on her 100-meter-dash time by .47 seconds, reducing it to 12.18 seconds, and Owens improved his triple jump by .15 meters, improving it to 14.03 meters.

The team kept moving forward into the following weekend for another home meet at the SLU Medical Center Stadium on April 8-9.  Both teams took first place by at least 40 points each.  Schoenthal again beat his 1500-meter run time.  He ran a 3:51.30, improving his time by .29 seconds.  Kidd shattered her own personal record in the 1500-meter run with a time of 4:36.96.  Marker again took the reins on the 10,000-meter run, finishing first with a time of 36:43.31.

Freshman Ann Harlos dominated in the 100-meter hurdles and the 400-meter hurdles with times of 14.74 and 1:02.68, respectively.  Uhrich took the high jump honors with a jump of 1.63 meters.

Junior Griffin McCurren took the title for the 400-meter run with a time of 49.91, and on the long distance side, freshman Matt Prest earned first place in the 10,000-meter run with a time of 31:36.98.

One freshman in particular is making a name for himself in the long-distance area of both indoor and outdoor competition.  Manuel De Backer was named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week on April 5.  He currently holds SLU’s record time for the 10,000-meter run, with a time of 30:01.32, almost 19 seconds faster than the record that had been held by Brian Holdmeyer since 2012.  This time is also the fastest in the A-10  as of now, and De Backer is showing no signs of stopping now.

Both teams compete again at the Azusa Pacific Invitation in Azusa, California and the Mizzou Invitational on April 15-16.