Morton named most valuable athlete at MVCs



Carter Morton claimed three gold medals at the MVC Indoor Championships, walking away with the title of most valuable athlete.

ADAM JOHNSON, Sports Writer

The mens and womens track and field teams participated in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Indoor Track and Field Championships on Sunday, Feb. 26 and Monday, Feb. 27 in Chicago, Ill. UNI came out of Chicago with six champions, including the meet’s most valuable athlete, Carter Morton. In the team standings, the men finished in third place, while the women tied for sixth.

The women started out the meet with the pentathlon. In the third event of the pentathlon, the shot put, Katy Stephens finished in third place. In the fifth and final event of the pentathlon, Darci Wiseman got third in the 800-meter run. All around, Stephens placed the highest of any Panther in the pentathlon at fifth.

Next up was the men’s heptathlon. The Panthers were busy in all of these events. The first event was the 60-meter dash, and the top three finishers were Panthers. Morton was in third, Brody Lovell in second and Drew Bartels in first. The long jump featured two of the same guys in the top two. Bartels finished in second and Morton in first. In the shot put, Morton finished in second and Lovell was in third. Morton won the high jump and the pole vault. Bartels also picked up another victory in the 60-meter hurdles. Morton claimed gold in the heptathlon, Bartels finished third and Lovell came in fourth.

In the men’s 60-meter hurdles, Jack Summers placed in second with a time of 8.02 seconds. In the men’s 400-meter dash, Parker Kiewiet claimed the conference crown with a time of 46.13 seconds. The Panthers got another conference champion when Drake Hanson won the 800-meter run with a time of 1:55.04. 

On the women’s side, the Panthers 4×400-meter relay consisting of Jill Bennett, Auriona Kimbrough, Emily Vos and Erin Kerkhoff finished in third place with a time of 3:46.71. The men’s 4×400 finished in first place. Onal Mitchell, Kiewiet, Hanson and Andrew Feguson ran the race in 3:12.63.

Going on to the field events, UNI’s Brendan Safley finished second in the men’s pole vault with a height of 15 feet, 11 inches. The men’s long jump was dominated by Panthers. Summers finished in third with a jump of 23 feet, 5.5 inches, Kiewiet placed second with a jump of 23 feet, 11.5 inches and Carter Morton claimed another gold with a jump of 24 feet, 1.75 inches. Morton was once again victorious in the triple jump, securing his third conference championship with a jump of 48 feet, 2.75 inches. The final top placements for the Panthers came in the women’s shot put. Makenna Wilson got third with a throw of 48 feet, 10 inches. Katie Fare claimed second with a throw of 52 feet, 1 inch. 

Qualifiers for the NCAA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. were released on Tuesday, but no Panthers were selected. This brings the indoor track and field season to an end. The outdoor season will begin on March 31, when the Panthers travel to compete at the Redbird Challenge in Normal, Ill.