By Jacob Jimmerson
Taylor Needham, biochemistry freshmen, stole the spot light of the KCAC track meet which started May 1 and then concluded on the 2. As a team the Builders took second place behind Friends University.
Needham set a new conference record in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 1:01.72. This is a personal best for her as well, she won first place in this event. Needham also won first place in the 400 meter dash with a time of 57.04 seconds.
Needham was also a part of the 4X100 meter relay team and the 4X400 meter relay team. The 4X100 finished second behind friends with a time of 48.03 seconds.
The relay team consisted of Ashlee Wenrick, biology junior, Kayla Wilson, business sophomore, Christina Myer, biology sophomore, and then Needham. The 4X400 won first place with a time of 3:59.06 minutes. The relay team consisted of Wenrick, Wilson, Allie Maffei, biochemistry junior, and then Needham.
Needham showed excitement on her face after the meet. She said, “It feels great to be part of such a close team and even though we fell short of first place, I couldn’t be more proud of us. Plus, we still have more business to do at nationals in a couple weeks.”
Wilson also won first in the long jump with a distance of 5.78 meters and won first in the triple jump with a distance of 12.04 meters. Wilson also finished second in the 100 meter dash with a time of 12.22 seconds.
Wilson said, “I didn’t quite get the jump I wanted in the long jump, but I know what I need to work on and in the triple I was really happy with the results. Now I just need to work hard these next couple weeks and try to win a national championship.”
Bailey Collier, athletic training sophomore, finished second in the high jump event with a height of 1.65 meters. In the pole vault event Morgan Workman, elementary education senior, won first place with a vault of 3.05 meters.
Kelsey Buffum, education junior, finished third in the 3000 meter steeple chase with a time of 12:26.33 minutes. Wenrick finished second in the 200 meter dash with a time of 26.33 seconds.
Myer finished third in the 200 meter dash with a time of 26.61 seconds. Ashley Schoenhofer, athletic training junior, finished second in the 800 meter dash with a time of 2:25.65 minutes.
Mike Kirkland, head track and field coach, couldn’t be more proud of his team. He said, “We knew it would be tough to win conference just because of the fact that Friends had a lot more girls than we do. But, that did not bring the moral down for our squad. They went out and competed extremely hard and took the most first place finishes of any team here and we have several girls going to Alabama for nationals in a couple weeks.”
On the men’s side it was a tough weekend, they finished sixth at the conference meet. Garett Britton, business freshman, qualified for nationals in two events at the meet. He won first place in the 110 meter hurdles with a national qualifying time of 15.04 seconds and he also won first place in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 54.37 seconds, which was a season best.
The 4X800 meter relay team finished third with a time of 7:57.07 minutes. The team consisted of Taylor Parker, business senior, Jacob Anders, biology freshman, Skye Loving, education junior, and Keegan Gregg, business sophomore. Gregg also finished in a tie for second place in the 800 meter dash with a time of 1:57.62 minutes.
Cayd Bloomquist, business senior, had some excitement on the day with a suspensful moment in the pole vault. He and Art Hop from McPherson went into a tie breaker competition where they slowly lowered the bar until one cleared a height that the other didn’t. Bloomquist ended up falling in this tie breaker, but still finished second in the event.
He said, “I really would have liked to win the event, but with the injury I suffered all year I am just going to enjoy getting second at the last meet of my career. I didn’t get everything I planned, but it was still an amazing year.”
Kirkland was feeling positive on the men’s team despite a low finish. He said, “I am proud of all the guys, they ran hard and again we don’t have a large number of people running on this team also. The group of seniors that competed today did a great job of ending on a good note here at southwestern and we still have a chance to get a couple more people qualified for nationals at a last chance meet this next week.”
The Builders will send different squads to several locations this next weekend to try to qualify for the national meet which will be held at Gulf Shores, AL May 21 through the 23.
Jacob Jimmerson is a sophomore majoring in communication. You may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.