LEXINGTON, KY. – Manchester University didn't miss by much from earning its first Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference indoor team title early last month. The week of April 24-25, 2015, at Transylvania University's Athletics Complex, the Spartans weren't to be denied in their quest for the program's second all-time and first outdoor league championship since 2009.
"This team just continues to improve and get better at each turn," MU head coach Brian Cashdollar noted. "(The championship) is a true testament to the work that has been put in day in and day out at practices and meets leading up to this.
"I'm so incredibly happy … it was a total team effort with points coming from so many events," he added. "It's also awesome to see the senior class finish their conference meet careers like this. We'll enjoy this going forward, but know there is more work to be done to accomplish further goals that have been set."
The senior – sophomore combination of jumps specialist Bridgette Rowe (La Quinta, Calif.) and Mariah Jordan (Fort Wayne, Ind.) led the charge during the two-day event. Rowe won individual championships in the high jump during day one competition April 25 and came back Saturday to win the long jump, going 16 feet, 10 and three-quarters inches. Jordan won the first day's final event (the 10,000 meters) and earned the distance double by crossing first in the 5000 (18:17.65). Their event titles were also parts of double-point totals for MU, as sophomore Tiffany Harber (Columbia City, Ind.) joined her teammate to concluded a one-two in the 5000 (18:30.7), and freshman Paige Keller (Greenville, Ohio) wound up fifth in the long jump (15 feet, seven and a three-quarter inches.
Manchester University's second-day effort didn't stop there. Freshman thrower Jacey Cauhorn (Kendallville, Ind.) was second in the discus (125 feet, two inches), while Jordan just missed a treble in the distance races, taking runner-up honors in the 1500 (4:55.13). The Spartans' 173.5 point team total, eclipsing runner-up Franklin College by 12.5 points, also received a pair of thirds from the 4x100 meter relay squad of Keller, Rowe and freshmen Angela Gonzalez (Middlebury, Ind.) and Olivia Jenks (Elkhart, Ind.) (51.53 seconds) and junior Peyton Miller (Clayton, Ohio) in the 800 (2:24.14).
MU resumes its 2015 outdoor campaign Saturday, May 2. They compete in the University of Indiana's Billy Hayes Invitational.
NOTES: The Spartans' five event titles were the most at the outdoor championships since 2008 and the fourth time the program has claimed four-or-more individual championships at an HCAC championship … Rowe's HCAC outdoor individual championship numbers stand at four, while Jordan claimed her first two over the weekend, and sophomore thrower Shay Aator (West Lafayette, Ind.), standing atop the podium Friday in the hammer throw, is also a two-time champion.