Oskaloosa–Both the veterans and the new guard came out firing on all cylinders as the William Penn track and field teams opened their indoor seasons at the Central Holiday Preview Saturday.
The men, who were seeking to defend last year’s title, finished second with 81.5 points, trailing only NCAA Division I Drake and its 124.5 points. The Statesmen women finished eighth as Drake completed the sweep with 139 points.
Derek Seddon (Sr., Knoxville, Iowa, Physical Education) began his senior campaign in the best start possible, winning two events with qualifying marks. Freshman Tristen Elmore (Ovied, Fla., Physical Education) was also spectacular as he joined Seddon as a qualifier; all three qualifications eclipsed the automatic standards.
For Seddon, he tossed the shot put a distance of 51-9.75 and had a weight throw mark of 56-8. Elmore was second in the high jump with a height of 6-9.5. Additionally, he was also runner-up in the long jump at 22-5.
Marcus Hastings (So., North Las Vegas, Nev., Sociology) matched Seddon with a gold in the long jump at 22-5.25.
Throwers Derek Robinson (Jr., Jenks, Okla., Communications) and Kelvin Polk (Fr., Killeen, Texas) were dual point-scorers as well. Robinson was fourth in the shot put (44-11.5) and fifth in the weight throw (48-4), while Polk opened his collegiate career with a fifth-place effort in the shot put (42-5.5) and a seventh-place showing in the weight throw (46-2).
Zack Johnson (Jr., Decatur, Ill., Mechanical Engineering) claimed bronze in the 1,000-meter run in a time of 2:40.79, while the 4×400-meter relay team was also third in 3:30.39.
Charles Hurt (So., Gary, Ind., Sociology) (600-meter run, 1:26.81) and Cori Fitten (Fr., Mount Pleasant, Iowa, Undecided) (shot put, 41-1.75) both finished seventh, andClifford Phillips (Sr., Dade City, Fla., Physical Education) (60-meter dash, 7.11 seconds) and Derrick Smith (Fr., Olympia, Wash., Physical Education) (long jump, 20-5) took home eighth place in their respective events.
Other top-10 performances came from Payton Busch (Sr., Centerville, Iowa, Secondary Education) in the 600-meter run (9th, 1:27.45) and Earl George (Sr., Gaithersburg, Md., Biology) in the long jump (9th, 20-3.5) and high jump (10th, 5-9.75).
Not to be outdone, the women also recorded over a handful of top-10s. Asia Laudermilch (Fr., Oskaloosa, Iowa, Physical Education) led WPU by topping a school record that had stood since 1987, crossing the line in the 60-meter dash in 8.02 seconds to finish fifth (old mark was 8.15 seconds).
The throwing crew had a solid day with freshman Shelbie Williams (Hedrick, Iowa, Elementary Education) guiding the path as she was third in her inaugural shot put event with a toss of 41-5.25. Becky Cleppe (Fr., St. Petersburg, Fla., Physical Education) claimed eighth in the weight throw at 43-2, while Elayna VanArsdale (Fr., Bensalem, Pa., Secondary Education) earned ninth place in the shot put at 34-6.75.
Deja Lewis (Sr., Spring, Texas, Psychology) scored a point in the 3,000-meter run by placing eighth in a time of 12:15.77. Taylor Richardson (So., Oskaloosa, Iowa, Undecided) just missed scoring in the long jump as she was ninth at 16-0.25.
“This was an awesome first meet for us,” Head Coach Allen Friesen said. “I am very proud of our teams as everyone stepped up their games today. This might be the best indoor start we have ever had.”
Next Up: William Penn is off until after the holiday break, returning to action on Saturday, January 14 by traveling to Dubuque to compete in the Dubuque Sol Butler Classic.
Story provided by Wade Steinlage