Panthers compete at Fighting Illini Challenge



The UNI track and field team traveled to Illinois over the weekend, competing in the Fighting Illini Challenge.

Braden Elton, Guest Writer

The UNI men’s and women’s track team traveled to Champaign, Ill. to compete in the Fighting Illini Challenge on Saturday, April 8. The Panthers earned four titles throughout the day and both teams finished third in the overall standings. 

Isaiah Trousil, a redshirt senior sprinter for the Panthers, found himself at the top of the podium for his second straight week. Trousil won the men’s 200-meter dash with a winning time of 20.92 seconds. At the Texas Relays last meet, Trousil was victorious in the 100-meter dash, making him the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Male Track Athlete of the Week. 

The Panthers placed three other runners in the top ten of the 200-meters as well. Deonte Dean placed third with a career-best time of 21.22 seconds. Tinashe Chigudu finished fifth with a time of 21.61, and Zack Butcher came in ninth, finishing with a career-best time of 21.85. 

On the women’s side, Libby Wedewer finished in seventh place in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.87 seconds. In the 100-meter dash three Panthers finished in the top 10. Rylan Santi came in seventh place, finishing with a career-best time of 11.83 seconds. Wedewer and Madelyn Sanda finished eighth and ninth with times of 11.87, 11.92. Chigudu placed third for the men’s with a time of 10.48 seconds. 

Two other Panthers were able to win their first collegiate victories of their careers. Sophomore Chase Knoche finished first in the men’s 800-meter dash with a career-best time of 1:50.92. Emma Hoins had a career-best time of 10:34.86, as she finished first in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase. Hoins now has the second fastest time in program history. Mia Rampton was not too far behind Hoins as she finished fourth with a time of 11:18.16. 

Thrower Katie Fare had another dominant outing as she finished first in shot put with a career-best toss of 54 feet, 4 inches. Makenna Wilson came in second with a toss of 51 feet and Sarah Byrd came in fifth with a toss of 46 feet, 11 inches. Carson Lienau finished in eighth place in the men’s shot put with a toss of 50 feet, 7 inches.

The Panthers women’s team of Caroline Benfeldt Soerensen, Eden Barett, Madelyn Sanda and Olivia Hubler finished third in the 4×100-meter dash, as they crossed the finish line with a time of 46.81 seconds. Brady Griebel placed sixth in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:55.09, while Kate Crawford took seventh in the women’s 5,000-meters with a time of 17:29.57. 

Jack Sumners led the way for UNI in the men’s 110-meter hurdles, finishing in third place with a time of 14.20 seconds. Drew Bartels finished in eighth with a time of 14.88 seconds. 

Darci Wiseman came in fourth in the women’s 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:03.68. Anna Winterrowd had a career-best 1:03.86 to finish in sixth place. Bill Mukhtar finished seventh in the men’s 400-meter dash with a time of 55.37. 

Onal Mitchell had an outdoor career-best in the 400-meter dash as he finished third clocking in at 48.25 seconds. River Patterson took seventh at 49.31 seconds. For the womens, Erin Kerkhoff finished seventh at a time of 56.86 seconds. 

Mitchell, Andrew Feguson, Micaiah Ellis and Zack Butcher ended the meet with a second place finish in the men’s 4×400-meter relay with a time of 3:16.01. The women’s team of Emily Vos, Auriona Kimbrough, Kerkhoff and Wedewer finished in seventh place in the 4×400-meter relay with a time of 3:16.01. 

UNI is set to compete next at the Jim Duncan Invitational at Drake Stadium on Friday, April 14 in Des Moines.