The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

Panthers on track for big things

A slew of Panthers lead the pack on the famous blue oval in Des Moines.

The UNI Track and Field team is right around their halfway mark in the outdoor season with a lot of potential to make some noise at the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Outdoor Championships next month. 

The Panthers have been all over the United States competing in various meets. UNI started their outdoor season at the end of March in three separate meets including the Bobcat Invitational, hosted by Texas State in San Marcos, Tex., the Texas Relays hosted by the University of Texas in Austin and, finally, the Good Friday Challenge hosted by Wartburg in Waverly, Iowa. 

The Panthers competed well at all events including an impressive 15 first-place finishes at the Good Friday Challenge. Caleb Shumaker started the afternoon for UNI with a win in the men’s 5,000-meter run with a time of 14:57.06. 

Paige Kisley, running the women’s 100-meter hurdles, earned her first victory of the outdoor season with a winning time of 14.55. Jack Sumners won the men’s 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.20. 

The Panthers swept the top-five spots In the women’s 100-meter dash with Madelyn Sanda finishing first with a time of 11.98 seconds. Olivia Kramer (12.25) and Eva Van De Mortel (12.30) finished in second and third, followed by Ariana Yaklich (12.31) and Kisley (12.33) in fourth and fifth. On the men’s side, Jerome Jessup picked up a first-place finish in a time of 10.67. 

Sophia Jungling secured another first-place finish in the women’s 1,500-meter for the purple and gold with a personal-best time of 4:32.20. Jill Bennett took home the women’s 400-meter title with a time of 57.96, and Carlie Jo Fusco finished in first place in the women’s 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:04.21. 

The Panthers also swept the podium in both the women’s and men’s 200-meter dash with Sanda and Tinashe Chigudu finishing first in both races. 

UNI was back in Waverly on April 5, 6, for the Wartburg Outdoor Select as well as competing in the Arkansas Spring Invitational in Fayetteville. The Panthers finished with four champions at the Wartburg Outdoor Select and two at the Arkansas Spring Invitational.

In Waverly, Alivia Silvestri took home first place in the women’s pole vault, competing unattached after clearing 3.50 meters. Josey Dunbar took home first place in both the women’s long jump and triple jump with marks of 5.73 meters and 11.04 meters. In the decathlon, Zack Butcher led the Panthers with 7,046 points, while Darci Wiseman and Katy Hand led UNI with 4,082 points each to take first and second. Finally, Tyler Colvin picked up a win for the Panthers in the men’s 5,000-meter run (15:06.02). 

In Arkansas, the Panthers claimed the javelin title with a 59.98-meter throw by Justice Miller. UNI women took home the 3,000-meter steeplechase title as Emma Hoins finished in first with a time of 10:54.97. 

This last weekend UNI competed in the Jim Duncan Invitational hosted by Drake in Des Moines. The Panthers took home seven first-place finishes. 

UNI will compete next in the Musco Twilight hosted by the University of Iowa in Coralville. Following that meet the Panthers will be competing in the infamous Drake Relays from Wednesday, April 24 through Saturday, April 27. 

UNI has four more meets until the MVC Conference Outdoor Championships, which will be held in Terre Haute, Ind., May 10 – 12. Last season the Panthers took home eight first-place finishes in the conference meet and finished in second place for the men’s and fourth for the women’s collectively.

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