Track teams brings wins back home

Hallie Hocker

“Unreal” was the word men’s head track and field coach Tom Rutledge used to describe the men’s pole vault competition at Wichita State University Saturday.

Senior Matt Campbell once again took the top spot in the pole vault. This time he cleared 17-00.75, an automatic qualifying mark for the outdoor national meet. Campbell is currently ranked first nationally in Divison II for the event.

“There was too much wind,” Campbell said. “A little tailwind is good, but when it’s a 30-40 mile-per-hour gusts it pushes the pole down and messes up steps.”

Sophomore teammate Russell Ellis is tied for fourth in the nation with his third place vault of 16-06.75.

“It was a good meet,” Ellis said. “I jumped good. I’m starting to come around. The door is opening for me.”

Freshman Seager Wilson who has been expecting to clear the 16-00 mark, went 16-00.75 for fifth place and eleventh ranking in the nation. His goal now is 16-06.00 before nationals.

“I don’t want to limit myself,” he said. “I should still jump higher than that.”

Another freshman standout was Ryan McPeak in the 400-meter dash. McPeak took second with a time of 48.70.

“Ryan McPeak is turning into an animal,” Rutledge said.

He said sophomore Nick Patrick is right behind McPeak too.

Rutledge said to have two underclassmen doing so well tickles him to death.

“We had some people do pretty dang good considering the wind,” Rutledge said.

Women’s head track and field coach Patty Vavra said seniors Iashia Castle and Dionne Prince had a couple standout performances from the meet.

Castle took second in the triple jump with a leap of 38-09.75.

“I think I did pretty well considering the heat and wind and that I had no break and no lunch,” Castle said.

Prince also jumped into the wind for a third place mark of 38-09.00.

“Dionne had her best jump of the season,” Vavra said. “She got back on track really well in the triple jump. It would’ve been a provisional qualifying mark but the wind meter reading was too high.”

Vavra said the meter reading had to be lower than a 4; Prince had 4.9.

Vavra also said freshmen Stacy Borgard and Camille Brown improved on their 400m times by a couple of seconds.

Vavra said Prince turned in a good time in the 100-meters hurdles only and could’ve gotten even better without clipping the last hurdle. Prince took second with a time of 14.92.

Also, with Castle’s run of 58.53 into headwind in the 400m dash, Vavra expects a cut in time the next performance Castle has in the race in better conditions.

Castle also competed in the 4x400m relay along with Brown, Borgard, and junior Sarah Wallace.

“The two [Prince and Castle] are moving in a nice positive direction for the finish of their careers,” Vavra said.

In the 5000-meter run sophomore Kelly O’Toole ran 20:05.82 for a third place finish.

Sophomore Jessica Selby turned in a second place finish in the shot put and hammer throws, with respective marks of 45-09.25 and 157-04. Freshman Jessica Self came in third in the hammer with a throw of 149-04.

“It was a little bit of a down week in hammer,” Vavra said. “Jessica Self is staying very consistent … she’s at a point where she can breakout a little bit particularly in the hammer.”

On the men’s side, senior Mike Hines took first in the shot put event with a throw of 53-11.75.

“I didn’t throw what I wanted to throw distance wise,” Hines said. “It’s important that I won. I want to get in the habit of winning again. You have to learn how to win and get used to winning. You can tell a difference in people who want to win; you see it in races all the time.”

Hines said to win this week, he’d have to throw near to or set a new personal best with a throw between 55-00 and 58-00.

“A win this week would be pretty big,” he said.

Sophomore Adam Sims took fifth in the event with a throw of 47-05.25.

“There’s still room to improve for conference,” Sims said. “I think I’ll be physically ready to perform at my best capability at conference.”

Sophomore John Isenman placed fourth in the hammer throw with 157-09.

“I thought I’d throw well, but didn’t think I’d PR again,” Isenman said.

“My technique is finally clicking.”

At the University of Missouri-Rolla this weekend, Isenman hopes to throw 160-0 in the hammer and Sims hopes to throw the shot put over 48-00.

The men’s team will be split between Rolla and Texas Christian University. The women will also be competing at Rolla.

“It looks like Rolla will be a nice sized field and fairly competitive,” Vavra said.