Cedarville, Ohio – On a rainy and windy day in southwest Ohio, the Wittenberg University Men's & Women's Outdoor Track & Field teams each posted seventh-place finishes on Saturday at the Yellow Jacket Collegiate Outdoor Open on the campus of Cedarville University. The women's team combined for 37 points finish right in the middle of the pack of the 14-team event, while the men's team also finished seventh out of 14 total teams with 35 points. NCAA Div. II member Walsh University earned the team title on the women's side with 153 points, while host Cedarville won the men's title with 223 total points.
All told Wittenberg athletes combined for 17 total top-eight finishes at the Yellow Jacket Collegiate Outdoor Open, led by junior Alexis Gray winning the women's 400-meter run with a season-best time of 59.10 seconds. With Gray's winning time of 59.10 in the 400-meters on Saturday, the Tigers now own the top two times in the NCAC this year in the event, led by sophomore Marteana Newton who posted a time of 59.05 in the event last weekend at the Emory Invitational.
A pair of female athletes posted top-eight finishes in two different events, led by sophomore Taylor Barnhisel finishing second overall in the 400-meter hurdles with a season-best time of 1:10.66. Freshman Stevie Plikerd than tied for second in the triple jump after logging a combined jump of 10.00 meters. Both athletes then went on to earn a sixth-place finish in another individual event, with Barnhisel placing sixth in the javelin with a heave of 21.20 meters and Plikerd taking second in the long jump with a distance of 5.00 meters. Despite finishing fifth in the 100-meter hurdle race on Saturday, sophomore Rylee Clary posted the NCAC's top time to date in the event after stopping the clock with a time of 15.98 seconds. Two more Wittenberg athletes went on to pick up eighth-place finishes at Cedarville, including sophomore Alexis Johnson in the long jump (4.83 meters) and freshman Maxine Wishman in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:18.88.
On the men's side, 10 Wittenberg athletes combined to post top-eight finishes in seven different events, led by sophomore Zach Guyer and freshman Paul Varnadoe each finishing in the top-eight in two different events. First, Guyer and Varnadoe were joined by sophomore Maurice Graham and freshman Azad Robinson for a fifth-place showing in the 4x100-meter relay with a time of 46.03 seconds. Varnadoe also finished third overall in the triple jump with a combined distance of 12.00 meters, while Guyer was the eight-place finisher in the men's 110-meter hurdles with a time of 16.38. Senior Kyle Farnbauch earned the top individual effort for the men's team at Cedarville by finishing second in the 110-meter hurdles with a season-best time of 15.50 seconds. Farnbauch's time in the 110-meter hurldes ranks second in the NCAC this season, trailing only OWU's Quinton Broomfield who posted a time of 15.39 in the event on Saturday in South Carolina. Freshman Ryan Zimmerman battled the elements to finish third overall in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10:29.66, while junior Kenny Mayes also battled in a distance event by finishing sixth in the 800-meter run in 2:01.94. A pair of Tigers posted seventh-place finishes in an individual event, including junior Jonathan Seay in the hammer throw (45.86 meters) and sophomore David Haake in the 400-meter run (52.14), while sophomore Austyn Albanese finished right behind Haake in the 400-meters in eighth with a time of 52.17.
The Tigers return to action next weekend with athletes competing in two different events. The bulk of the team will travel to Tiffin, Ohio, on Saturday for the Heidelberg Invitational, while a select grouping of athletes will go to Muskingum University on Saturday and Sunday for multi-events portion of the 2019 All-Ohio Intercollegiate Championships.