Bulldog men win KCAC T & F title

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

McPherson College added three more individual titles to its haul on Friday en route to winning the 2017 KCAC men's outdoor track and field title at McPherson Stadium.

The Bulldogs, who had three point-scorers each in the pole vault, 100, 200 and 400 hurdles on Friday, finished with 177 points to outdistance runner-up Saint Mary (139) and the rest of the field.

The 4 x 100 relay team of J'Moi Penn, Ali Childs, Myles Sample and Hunter Sury kicked off big days for each of them personally with a blistering school-record time of 41.51 to win. The mark also surpassed the NAIA "A" standard, automatically qualifying the quartet for the national meet.

Childs also led a 1-3-4 Bulldog finish in the pole vault after clearing 4.35 meters (14-3 1/4), while Scott Holmes was third (4.05m; 13-3 1/2) and Cole Calkins (12-9 1/2). All three either set (Childs) or tied (Holmes, Calkins) collegiate personal bests.

Sury, Penn and Sample all competed in the finals of both the 100 and 200 for the Bulldogs, racking up big point totals along the way. Sury took second in the 100 (10.90), while Penn was fourth (11.06). In the 200, the pair swapped positions with Penn in second (22.01) and Sury in fourth (22.15). Sample finished sixth in the 100 (11.12) and eighth in the 200 (22.92). Penn has been the defending champion in both events.

Ronnie Floyd - a double-winner in the 400 and 400 hurdles at last year's championships - was unable to defend his title in the former, but was able to hold off a handful of late challengers in the latter. In the open 400, he posted a season-best 50.29, but came home fifth. DeShawn Pfeiff was third in 49.63 - his first sub-50 400 as a collegian.

Floyd set another season-best in the 400 hurdles with an NAIA "B" qualifying time of 54.50, just edging out Bethany's Noah Smucker at the line by two-hundreths of a second. Amari Heisser took fourth with a PR of 56.80, while Demetres Greenwood made it three Bulldogs in the top five with a season-best 56.99. Heisser also PR'd with a fourth-place finish in the 110 hurdles (15.67).

Among the distance runners, Casey Zimmerman took fifth in the 800 run with a PR of 1:58.30, while Jesse Freeman and Jonathan Dominguez PR'd in the 5,000. Freeman posted an outdoor PR of 16:04.54 to take seventh, just nosing out Dominguez and his overall PR time of 16:04.72. Michael Janzer just missed the points with ninth-place finishes in both the 1,500 (4:12.09) and 5,000 (16:24.71), but hit PRs in both events.

After winning the 4 x 100 earlier in the day, McPherson looked poised to defend its title in the 4 x 400 relay as well. The team of Heisser, Floyd, Penn and Pfeiff posted a season-best 3:20.22, but couldn't hold off a blistering anchor leg from York's Mason Held and finished second.

Jordan Windholz uncorked a season-best effort on his first attempt of the finals in the triple jump, placing second with a leap of 14.05m (46-1 1/4). Cain Fowles took 10th with a PR jump of 12.67m (41-7) while Myles Sample took 12th (12.55m; 41-2 1/4).

Tanner Trigg scored a second top-eight finish for the meet Friday, placing 8th in the hammer throw with a PR throw of 42.62m (139-10). He also placed 17th in the shot put (12.77m; 41-10 3/4). Miguel Isidro took 16th in the hammer with a throw of 33.28m (109-2). 

• McPherson Women Take Fourth •

The McPherson women finished fourth with 59 points, just ahead of Ottawa (58) and Tabor (52). Amy Braimbridge took second in the 400 and third in the 200, then anchored the Bulldogs' runner-up 4 x 100 relay. She posted a PR time of 58.23 in the 400 final and had a 25.65 in the 200.

Braimbridge was joined on the 4 x 100 team by Miaya Sample, Diamond Blaylock-Norris and Chantelle Theron  for a season-best clocking of 48.90. McPherson's 4x400 relay of Cierra Lee, Erika Doty , Ane' Archuleta and Braimbridge took fifth with a 4:13.10 - also a season-best.

 Blaylock-Norris also competed in the 200 final, finishing eighth with a 27.19, while Archuleta was 13th in the 800 in a season-best 2:30.83.

 Lauren Wankum added a third-place finish in the 5K to Thursday's third-place finish in the 10K. She stopped the clock in 19:21.76. Taylor Dreiling knocked another 30 seconds off her PR time with a 20:51.33 to finish 15th, while Rachel Foreman and LeaAnn Myersalso set PRs in the 1,500. Foreman was 17th in 5:40.73, just ahead of Myers in 18th with a 5:49.44.

Jasmine Helms took fourth in the triple jump with a leap of 11.49 meters (37-8 1/2). The effort surpassed the NAIA "B" standard, but could not improve on her season-best 11.59m (38-0 1/4) from the Southwestern Classic.

Brooke Racette placed sixth in the javelin throw with a PR throw of 34.10m (111-10).

• Sury, Spies Earn Top KCAC Honors •

After the championships, Sury was named the KCAC Male Athlete of the Meet as the top male point-scorer in the championships, while head coach Robert Spies was named the KCAC Men's Coach of the Year.

The KCAC also recognized its individual Champions of Character. Representing McPherson College were Freeman and Helms. 

With a couple of weeks before the NAIA National Championships, the Bulldogs should have one more opportunity to compete in a last-chance meet in order to try and bolster seeds and secure some final qualifying spots.