Posted: Mar 06, 2021
*Story by David Wahl III
WESTERVILLE, Ohio - The Wilmington College men's track & field team turned in a fifth-place finish at the 2021 Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) Indoor Track & Field Championships hosted by Otterbein University on Saturday.
The Fightin' Quakers tallied 48 points as a team, finishing nearly 20 points clear of Marietta College, Capital University Baldwin Wallace University and Heidelberg University. The University of Mount Union won the championship with 217.5 points. The finish is the highest for the program in a decade.
The Quakers started the day strong on the field side, specifically the throws. Joe Shuga blasted a personal best of 56' 9.25" in weight throw to place second in the conference followed close behind by teammate Andrew Pacifico who also crushed a personal best of 53' 1" to place him fourth in the conference. The throws squad did not slow down there with sophomore Blake Jamison taking second place in shot put with a toss of 48' 2.75" and Shuga having a seventh-place toss of 45' .25".
The men had a few great showings on the jumps side as well with Max Queen placing eighth in triple jump with a leap of 40' 6.25" and Anthony Gilmore taking fifth place honors in high jump with a jump of 5' 11.5".
Simon Heys had an electric performance on the day placing top three in two events. Heys breezed through the line in the 5,000-meter run in 15:04.82 receiving third place and podium honors. Like clockwork, Heys came back in the 3000-meter run and took third place as well with a time of 8:38.85 also receiving podium honors for this mark.
A few athletes that performed well, but fell short of placement points were Chas O'Connell in pole vault with a personal best of 12'. In the 5,000-meter run, freshman Noah Tobin and Ryan Honkomp set personal bests running 15:50.06 and 16:13.95 respectively, and Henson set a season best in the 500-meter dash with a time of 1:09.61.
To cap off the day, Wilmington sent three relays to the line and each one of the relays scored points for the team. First, the distance medley relay of Eric Reynolds, David Wahl, Tanner Creager and Evan Whitaker finished in seventh place with a time of 11:05.82. Shortly after, the 4x200-meter relay of Queen, Wahl, Gilmore and Reynolds took sixth place with a season's best time of 1:37.35. Finally, the 4x400-meter relay consisting of Henson, Gilmore, Reynolds and Wahl closed out the day with a sixth-place time of 3:38.03.
"It wasn't our prettiest day, but I thought the guys battled all day long," Head Track & Field Coach Ron Combs mentioned. "Fifth place was the team goal, and we put up 48 hard-fought points to get the job done. I am very excited to return every member who scored for the men today."
Wilmington will look forward to the start of outdoor track season with an opening meet at Marietta College on the 20th of March.