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|Scots Defend Track Titles
|Monmouth College's men's and women's track teams successfully defended their Midwest Conference titles, picking up the men's 10th straight league crown and the women's sixth.
Each team led after Day 1 of the two-day meet in Jacksonville and widened the gap on the rest of the field on the final day. Carroll was the runner up to Monmouth in both the men's and women's competitions. The Scots' men posted 202 points to the Pioneers' 123. The women won by a 248.5 to 127 margin.
Monmouth coach Roger Haynes swept the men's and women's Coach of the Year honors. He shared the men's honor with Carroll's Shawn Thielitz. The Scots' Gloria Lehr and Amanda Streeter were named women's field Performers of the Year along with Melissa Norville of Illinois College. Monmouth's Tyler Hannam earned the men's field Performer of the Year and teammate Luke Reschke was tabbed the men's track Performer of the Year, sharing the honor with Illinois College's D.J. Jackson and David Montgomery of Grinnell.
Reschke made the biggest splash on the men's track with a 400-dash time that not only is the nation's fastest, it also equaled the automatic qualifying time for Division I. After missing last season with an injury, the senior reclaimed the 400-meter dash title in convincing fashion. His fourth title in the event came in a automatic qualifying time of 46.75 - breaking his own school record by nearly a second. He added a second-place finish in the 200 where he ran a personal-best and first-time provisional qualifying 21.62 in the prelims. His 21.78 in the finals was just one one-hundredth behind Jackson of IC.
Lehr scored in all four of her events, winning two. The senior took top honors in the shot put and discus. Lehr's provisional throw of 43'1-1/2" in the shot led a 1-2-3 Scots finish. Amanda Street was second and Allison Devor was third. Lehr also threw a provisional mark to win the discus. Her 140'4" toss was a personal-best. Devor placed third in the event.
Hannam won the men's high jump for the second consecutive year. The junior cleared 6'9-1/2" to win by two inches. Nick Byom cleared 6'7-1/2" to place third on a judge's decision and Sean Wells was fourth.
Streeter unseated defending champion Lehr in the hammer throw. Streeter heaved a personal-best and first-time provisional mark of 154'6" for the title. Lehr placed second and Devor took fourth with a career-best 140'5".
Sprinter Jae Moore was successful in defending her 100-dash crown. The junior clocked a 12.81 to win by 25-hundreths. She also placed second in the 200.
Moore, Morgan Leffel, MacKinsey Marquith and Kaci Lierman sprinted their way to a win in the 4x100 relay. The foursome's 49.83 was nearly a second faster than the runner-up. Leffel and Lierman also gained valuable points in the 400 where they finished 2-3. Lierman, Leffel, Moore and Rachel Bowden clocked a second-place time of 4:04.60 in the 4x400 relay.
Whitney Didier picked up the women's other first in the meet. Didier equaled her personal-best and provisional height of 11'7-3/4" to win the pole vault. She also took third in the 400 hurdles.
Besides Reschke's win in the 400, Monmouth's men picked up four other firsts - all in the field events.
The Scots were 1-2 in the pole vault and the shot put. Brock McAnally cleared a provisional 15'5" for the second time this season to win the pole vault. Jeremy Henkins took second with a career-best 13'11-3/4". Peyton Lumzy improved his provisional mark in the shot put with a personal-best and winning distance of 51'8-1/4". Sam Cokinos was second.
School record holder in the javelin Dan Higgins won the event for the third time. Higgins unleashed a throw of 192'11". Sean Wells placed fourth.
Bowden set one school record and just missed on another. The freshman's 1,500 time of 4:49.31 broke her own record and placed her third. Lindsie Pettie was sixth and Aron Jackson was seventh with a PR of 5:00.55. Bowden was just two-hundredths off the school record in the 800. Her time of 2:20.37 placed her second. Pettie and Jackson were 4-5.
Competing in her final conference meet, senior Katie Staab saved the best for last with career-bests in the 5,000 and 10,000 races. She placed third in both events with an 18:35.98 in the 5K and a 20:05.50 in the 10K.
The women bunched their points in the long jump and javelin with 2-3-4 finishes in both. Marquith jumped a personal-best and first-time provisional mark of 18'4-3/4" to lead the Monmouth pack in the long jump. Chelsey Widdop was third and Leffel fourth. Marquith also had a lifetime-best in the triple jump where she placed third at 35'3". Lehr, Brittany McCline and Heather Hull were 2-3-4 in the javelin.
Reschke was joined by Shane Reschke, Mike Blodgett and Saidu Sesay on the runner up men's 4x100 team. Their 42.16 was less than 25-hundredths off the pace. Sesay also ran to a third-place finish in the 100 dash
Other key scoring performances for the men came from Logan Weir in the 400 hurdles. He clocked a 56.42 to finish second. Tim Bentz was third in the 1,500. Blodgett led a 4-5-6 scoring block in the long jump. Nick Law placed fifth and Nick Wright was sixth. Wells and Wright placed 2-3 in the triple jump. Wells' mark of 45'3" and less than four inches out of first.
Monmouth's sweep of the conference titles marks the 12th time the Scots have won both the men's and women's titles. A handful of Scots will compete at a variety of meets this week in preparation for next week's NCAA Outdoor Championships in Berea, Ohio.
(Monmouth College Athletics)