Mac men win KCAC Indoor title

By Josh Schroeder, McPherson College SID
February 06, 2017
McPherson College Sports Information-file

PITTSBURG —  The McPherson College men's indoor track and field team won four individual titles and racked up 150 points en route to its first league indoor title, as the 2017 KCAC Indoor Track & Field Championships wrapped up Saturday at the Robert W. Plaster Center on the campus of Pittsburg State University.

The Bulldogs outdueled Saint Mary (133 1/2) and York (118) for the title, while Southwestern took fourth (72) ahead of Friends (69), Tabor (61 1/2), Kansas Wesleyan (54), Ottawa (32), Sterling (21), Bethany (18) and Bethel (9). Oklahoma Wesleyan did not record a team point.

On the women's side, McPherson took fifth with 52 points, just one-half point behind fourth-place Tabor (52 1/2). Friends ran away with the title, accumulating a meet-record 294 points. Saint Mary was second with 115 1/2, followed by Southwestern (72 1/2), Tabor, McPherson and Sterling (50). Ottawa (34), Bethany (25), York (20.5), Kansas Wesleyan (8), Bethel (8), and Oklahoma Wesleyan (6) rounded out the team scoring.

Mac’s Chris Linnin — who repeated as the KCAC Indoor Track and Field Male Athlete of the Meet—added the high jump title to his long jump crown from day one after clearing 2.06 meters (6-9) on the second attempt. Linnin missed on three attempts at 2.14 meters, which would have erased Derrick Toney's McPherson and KCAC meet record of 2.11.

He was also kept from repeating as a triple KCAC champion by teammate Marlon Clayton, who won the triple jump with a leap of 14.09 meters (46-2 3/4) and matched the school record he set earlier this season at the MSSU Southern Open. Linnin took third after clearing 13.37 meters (43-10 1/2), while Myles Sample gave McPherson a third scorer in the event with a seventh-place finish of 13.08 meters (42-11).

Art Hop, who finished 13th in Saturday's triple jump, claimed McPherson's fourth individual title of the meet with a win in the pole vault Friday afternoon.

The Bulldogs' jumps crew (high jump, pole vault, long jump and triple jump) accounted for four individual titles and 80 points overall, but it was an entire team effort that brought the title home. 

Tanner Trigg finished 13th in the shot put with a best effort of 12.61 meters (41-4 1/2).

In the sprints, J'Moi Penn took third in the 60 dash (7.12) and fourth in the 200 (22.52). Hunter Sury added a fifth-place finish in the 60 (7.14) and Amari Heisse took sixth in the 60 hurdles (9.29).

DeShawn Pfeiff led a 3-4-8 McPherson finish in the 400 with a 50.65 clocking. Clayton - who also finished eighth in the 60 (23.16) - was fourth (50.79), while Heisser claimed eighth-place points (52.13).

Casey Zimmerman added a fourth-place finish in the 600 (1:23.44), while the team of Heisser, Zimmerman, Penn and Pfeiff closed out the championship with a runner-up finish in the 4x400 in a time of 3:24.84.

Zimmerman also joined Felix Cervantes, Miguel Luna Sanche and Michael Janzer on McPherson's fifth-place distance medley relay team, which finished in a time of 8:22.83.

Cervantes had the team's best finish in the 1,000, taking 12th in 2:49.69, while Janzer and Jesse Freeman each scored points in both the mile and 3,000. Janzer placed seventh in the mile (4:32.97) and sixth in the 3,000 (9:17.34), while Freeman was fifth in the 3,000 (9:16.39) and eighth in the mile (4:34.46).

The McPherson women's team was not without its successes at the championships. Jasmine Helms took second to Friends' Chelsea Baker in the triple jump, but surpassed the NAIA "A" standard with a leap of 11.29 meters (37-0 1/2). Chantelle Theron took 10th with a leap of 9.84 meters (32-3 1/2). Morgan Little added a 12th-place finish in the shot put with a toss of 9.63 meters (31-7 1/4).

Theron also took sixth in the 60 hurdles with a 9.84 clocking.

Amy Braimbridge led the Bulldog women on the track with a trio of Top-6 finishes in the sprints. She took second in the 200 (25.79), fourth in the 400 (58.61) and sixth in the 60 (8.04). All three races were won by Natali Engle of Friends.

Lauren Wankum added a fourth-place finish in the 3,000 with a time of 11:11.37, while Ane' Archuleta  won her heat of the 800 with a 2:23.14 clocking and finished seventh overall. Erika Doty just missed the points in the 800, placing ninth with a 2:37.67 time.

Elsewhere on the distance program, Rachel Foreman finished 10th (3:32.21) and LeaAnn Myers 14th (3:41.49) in the 1,000, and Taylor Dreiling took 13th in the mile (6:01.33).

The McPherson 4 x 400 relay team of Cierra Lee, Doty, Archuleta and Braimbridge closed out the championships with a fifth-place finish in a time of 4:18.63.

Prior to Saturday's running events, Miguel Isidro and Theron were recognized as McPherson's indoor track and field representatives to the KCAC Champions of Character program. 

Chelsea Baker of Friends was named the KCAC Indoor Track and Field Female Athlete of the Meet after winning the high jump, triple jump, long jump and 60 hurdles, while York's Justin Carver (men) and Friends' Cole Davis (women) were named KCAC Coaches of the Year.