Cedarville, Ohio- One individual event title and one relay crown paced the Wittenberg University Indoor Track & Field squads on Friday at the Cedarville University Invitational inside the Doden Fieldhouse. In the final team standings, the men's team finished third out of six teams with 97.50 points, while the women's team finished fourth out of eight squads with 51 points. Cedarville won the team title on both sides, accumulating 181 points in the men's competition and 198 points on the women's side.
The Wittenberg men's team jump started the meet early on with a first-place showing in the 4x200-meter relay, as the team of senior Matt Entsminger, junior Brandon Johnson, senior Kyle Farnbauch and freshman Grant Shepardson broke the tape in a winning time of 1:34.51. Johnson also went on the finish third overall among attached runners in the finals of the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.22 seconds. Sophomore David Haake posted the sixth-fastest time among attached runners in the 400-meter dash after crossing the line in 52.65, while freshman Jack Chambers picked up five points for the Tigers in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:05.10. Finally, a pair of Wittenberg runners scored points in the men's 200-meter dash, led by Brandon Johnson picking up three points after crossing the line in 23.72. In the field events, freshman Paul Varnadoe won the triple jump with a leap of 12.31 meters, while also finishing second overall in the long jump with a distance of 6.27 meters. Fellow freshman Grant Shepardson finished second behind Varnadoe in the triple jump at 12.29 meters and third overall in the long jump with a leap of 6.10 meters. In addition, junior Jaycee Perry tied for third in the high jump after clearing 1.83 meters, while senior D'Anthony Dorsey finished third in the men's weight throw with a heave of 15.74 meters.
"It was a great opportunity for our athletes to compete against some high-level Div. I and Div. II talent," said head coach Paris Hilliard. "I was happy with how both of our teams competed against a higher level of competition."
In the women's competition, sophomore Alexis Johnson brought home the Tigers' lone individual event victory on the women's side after she topped the field in the long jump competition with a distance of 5.28 meters. Sophomore Hannah Eley scored three points for the Tigers in the women's weight throw after logging a throw of 13.85 meters in the finals. In the running events, the Ladies picked up their first points of the night in the mile run with freshman Lauren Welker finishing sixth among attached runners in 5:41.85, and classmate Annalee Lynn checking in seventh with a time of 5:46.18. Junior Alexis Gray also continued her impressive indoor campaign with a second-place showing in the 400-meter dash as she crossed the line in just over a minute at 1:00.80. Freshman Alexis Walker qualified for the finals in the 60-meter dash with a prelim time of 8.17 seconds, before finishing fifth overall in the finals heat with a time of 8.20 seconds. Finally, the women's team had a pair of top-three finishes on the night in relay events, led by the team of sophomore Taylor Barnhisel, sophomore Marteana Newton, sophomore Preslee Rolf and senior Leah Hilley finishing as the runner-up in the 4x200-meter relay in a time of 1:55.62. In addition, the squad of Gray, Newton, Welker and sophomore Erika Bournival placed third in the Distance Medley Relay after crossing the line in 13:39.47.
While the rest of the Wittenberg athletes will have the weekend off, freshman Stevie Plikerd will hit the road on Sunday morning to Granville, Ohio, to compete in the 2019 Div. III All-Ohio Women's Pentathlon competition at Denison University. The entire squad will then travel to Westerville, Ohio, the following Saturday, February 9th, for the 2019 All-Ohio Championships at Otterbein University.