TERRE HAUTE, IND. – A pair of impressive streaks for the Manchester University men's and women's outdoor track and field programs continued Friday and Saturday, April 27 and 28.
Director of Cross Country and Track and Field Brian Cashdollar's women battled the host Rose-Hulman Fightin' Engineers tooth and nail over the two days on Rose's home William Welch Track and Field Complex. When the dust settled, a run of three straight Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference titles may have ended but the fight put in by the Black and Gold was evident, and the term of being in the first five in each of the league's championships was intact with a team score final of 195-123. Meanwhile, for the men, a 20th straight season of top five marks was added to with a 74-point finish that put MU fourth.
Both teams earned individual platform top spots. Freshman Landon Balch (Rensselaer, Ind.) captured the Spartans' first loop high jump title since 2012, clearing 1.97 meters and knocking off former champion Garrett Cooley of Anderson University due to fewer misses. The field event jumps success didn't end there, as sophomore Austin Roberts (Indianapolis, Ind.) took Cooley to the wire in the long jump with a top effort of 6.72 meters, third-longest in school history, which wound up second, as the Ravens' standout hit the pit at 6.82. A third underclassman gave Black and Gold fans a reason to see a silver lining on the horizon, as freshman Nathan Weaver (Goshen, Ind.) was nipped at the line by Hanover College senior Andrew Strong only 22-hundredths at the line (16.22-16.44).
Sophomore distance standout Hannah Wappes (Columbia City, Ind.) led the way for the women's team. She swept the 800, and 1500 meter runs, crossing in 2:16.23 in the half to win by over six seconds, and 4:46.96 in the 1500 which beat the field by almost eight full seconds. Her 800 time was a personal career best and second-fastest in school history. Also on the track, junior sprinter Dasia Beck was held off at the finish by just nine-hundredths of a second by the host school's Adekite Oladiuppo (13.11-132.) for the top spot. A significant amount of the 100-point-plus mark was due in part to the fireworks provided by assistant coach Kaylea Jachno's throws crew. Senior Jacey Cauhorn (Kendallville, Ind.) claimed the discus title, launching the steel Frisbee 42.57 meters good for second-farthest in program history; junior Laina Boggs (Frankfort, Ind.) was runner-up in the shot put (11.96 meters) to guide three in the top five; senior Kara Breuckman (Crown Point, Ind.) led the same charge in the hammer, tossing the ball 46.75 meters for runner-up honors; and Boggs and Breuckman went three-four in the javelin (34.96/34.45 meters). Breuckman's hammer throw was a new personal career best and third-longest for MU as was Boggs' javelin mark.
Manchester University continues its season Saturday, May 5, travel to Indiana University for the Billy Hayes Invitational.