UNI hosts MVC track, places second and fourth

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UNI hosts MVC track, places second and fourth




ELIOT CLOUGH, Sports Editor

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After coming off of an MVC Championship meet in the 2018 outdoor season in which the Northern Iowa men were able to come out on top by a single point over the Redbirds of Illinois State, the UNI-Dome played host to quite the environment this past weekend.

Day one of the championships, Saturday, Feb. 23, saw several Panthers grab All-Conference placings as Brooke Lorenz was able to earn the honor for the first time in her career with a second-place finish in the pentathlon. Lorenz would score a personal best in the competition, scoring a total of 3,545 points and hitting personal bests in the 60-meter hurdles, long jump and shot put.

Lyndsie Schinkel, Jolissa Kriegel, Katie Nimrod and Alyssa Williams were also able to place second in the Distance Medley Relay for the women, running a combined time of 12:02.87.

On the men’s field side, Isaac Holtz and Cade Kirkpatrick would go on to also place second in their respective events, Holtz in the weight throw with a toss of 63 feet, 6.75 inches and Kirkpatrick in the long jump with a leap of 24 feet, 2.25 inches. Kirkpatrick narrowly missed a first-place finish, missing the top honor by a centimeter.

The men and women would have several other point-scoring finishes, as the men would end day one in first, while the women remained in fourth. 

Day two of the championships, Sunday, Feb. 24, came with plenty of other points scored.

On the women’s side, Maddie McCalla was the lone champion, winning the 400-meter dash in a time of 54.89, an indoor personal best. McCalla would go on to place second in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.52, another personal best.

Lyndsie Schinkel, Patrice Watson and Maria Gonzalez were all able to earn All-Conference awards, placing third in their respective events. Schinkel competed in the 800-meter run (2:10.37), Watson in the 60-meter hurdles (8.58) and Gonzalez in the high jump (5 feet, 5.25 inches). This is Gonzalez’s second time receiving All-Conference honors.

For the men, the 4×400 meter squad was the only relay of the weekend to earn a first-place finish with a team of Sven Van Den Bergh, Tayshaun Cooper, Bryce Newcomb and Connor Blough demolishing the rest of the field and crossing the finish line roughly 25 meters ahead of the competition in a blazing 3:14.38.

Connor Ham, despite a slow start, was able to dash past the other runners to a first-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles. Ham ran a time of 7.93 seconds, a personal best and the highest-ranking event in the NCAA among the men’s track athletes at the MVC championships. Ham ultimately won the Most Outstanding Athlete honor for the men as well.

Another sprinter for the Panthers, Evan Long, was able to garner second place finishes in the 200-meter dash (21.65) and the 400-meter dash (47.79). Van Den Bergh placed third in the 400 as well (48.25)

Keegan Tritle, UNI’s record holder in the shot put, placed second in the shot put with a throw of 61 feet 5 inches.

The men of UNI would go on to place second and the women would place fourth.

“[I was] really pleased and happy with how they competed. We had a really good meet on both sides, and so when you perform at your best and you get beat, it’s a little easier to take than if you have a lot of things that don’t go your way. So, [we’re] looking forward to turning the page and getting right to outdoors,” said Head Coach Dave Paulsen following the meet.

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