The Sterling College Warrior Track and Field team would travel to Pittsburg, KS on Friday and Saturday, February 5th and 6th for the 2016 KCAC Indoor Championships hosted on the campus of Pittsburg State University. The Warriors would see plenty of action over the course of the two day meet, both on the track and in the field, earning multiple podium finishes, six school records, numerous medalists, and dozens of personal records.
Friday would start off with men's pole vault and women's weight throw, both events setting the bar very high for the rest of the meet. Hunter Hope
would go toe-to-toe with an NAIA All-American to end up shattering his own personal best, raising the school record, breaking the KCAC meet record, and earning All-KCAC honors with a runner-up finish. His jump of 4.50m (14' 9"), is 9 inches higher than his previous best and his 3rd
podium finish in his three years at Sterling, and back-to-back runner-up finishes. Danielle Burrell would earn her first ever KCAC medal with a 3rd
place finish in the weight throw. Dani would see herself sitting 2nd
going in to finals before eventually finishing 3rd
Friday's running events would start off just as hot as the field events for the Warriors with the women's 4x800m relay first on the track. Madison Caffrey
would lead off for the Warriors, handing the baton to Jennifer Calderwood
in contention for the coveted top three spots. Calderwood would hold her own and maintain position before handing off to Lora Bebermeyer
. Kaitlynn Little
then anchored the team to a third place finish, as well as All-Conference honors, with a time of 9:59.50. The men's 4x800m relay proved to be just as exciting as the women's as Lucas Garrett
, Aaron Pinkerton
, Zach Williams
, and Isaac Barnhart
worked together to achieve a podium finish with a time of 8:21.70, exactly one second off of the school record.
In the 5000m run, Lacey Buckwalter
, Josh Williams
, and Isaac Barnhart
all ran personal bests. Lacey finished with a time of 20:50.16, a 39 second personal best for the indoor race. Personal records would continue to drop in the men's race with Josh Williams
running 18:36.00. This time was 1:46 faster than his previous personal record for the indoor race as well as 1:09 faster than his lifetime personal best. The same race also saw Isaac Barnhart
lower his school record by one second, finishing with a personal best time of 16:50.49 only one hour after anchoring the men's 4x800m relay team to a podium finish.
The men's and women's 200m dash would conclude Friday's running events on the track with two freshman making school history. Both Robyn See
and Aaron McKnight
advanced to the 200m final as well as lowering both the men and women's school record.
Coming off of the hype of Friday's success, the Warriors would continue to set a high standard and enjoyed even more school and personal records. Rebecca Borger
would throw a huge personal record of 10.98 (36' 0.25") in the women's shot put which also put her on the podium in 8th
place. There was fierce competition in the men's triple jump with 1st
place through 6th
place being separated by less than eleven inches. Nathan Frame set a new personal record with a 6th
place finish jump of 13.34m (43' 9.25"). With a five-way tie for fourth place in the women's high jump, Lora Bebermeyer
would place 8th
with a jump of 1.52m (4' 11.75").
One of the bigger highlights of the meet for the Warriors was the recognition of the women's team as the 2016 KCAC Indoor Team of Character.
The Warriors found continued success in the second relay of the meet with both the women and men's teams earning podium finishes in the Distance Medley Relay. In the women's race, a rag-tag group of Warriors came together to provide an exciting start to the second day of running competition. Kaitlynn Little
led off the relay and put the team in a strong position, finishing her leg in third place. Abby Reed, Jennifer Calderwood
, and Renee Lanham
ran excellent legs to hold on to the relay's position, ultimately earning the bronze medal with a time of 13:31.31. Following the women's superb finish, the men's team of Zach Williams
, Joel Fowler
, Lucas Garrett
, and Aaron Pinkerton
fought valiantly in an extremely competitive race and proceeded to lower the DMR school record by nine seconds with a finishing time of 10:49.40. Zach Williams
led off for the Warriors in the 1200m leg of the race. Maintaining excellent position, he would hand off the baton to Joel Fowler
for the 400m leg. Joel would then run one of his best 400m leg splits to keep the Warriors in contention for a podium spot. Lucas Garrett
followed with a solid 800m leg split of 1:59 and then handed off to Aaron Pinkerton
, who, with the true spirit of a warrior, ran a 5 second personal best in the mile, ultimately securing a 6th
place podium finish.
, Lacey Buckwalter
, and Anna Kuns
would be Sterling's only representatives in both the men's and women's mile race. All three crossed the finish line with new personal bests for the indoor race. In the women's race Kuns and Buckwalter both ran personal bests, which also earned them the final two spots on the podium, finishing in 7th
place, respectively. Josh Williams
, in his first time running the mile race indoors and coming off of a spectacular performance in the 5000m run the night before, would establish a personal best for the distance and come within 8 seconds of his lifetime personal best.
The 60m hurdle race saw freshman Jamie Sovern
continue to improve and adjust to collegiate competition, showing great determination and perseverance. Sovern would finish the race with a new personal best and a heightened confidence. Just 10 minutes later, Sovern would join her teammate Rayven Holmes
in the 60m dash. Holmes would sprint to the line and finish very close to her lifetime personal best. Sovern, running the 60m dash for the first time, would show the same determination and confidence as she did in her previous race and cap off an indoor season that showed growth and continued improvement.
Up next on the track for the Warriors, the women's and men's 800m race would see Lora Bebermeyer
, Jennifer Calderwood
, and Lucas Garrett
step to the line. In the women's race, Lora Bebermeyer
would cross the line in 2:26.75, earning her a 3rd
place finish. Calderwood, having already helped the women's DMR to an excellent 3rd
place finish with her 800m leg would demonstrate her consistency and determination, finishing with a time of 2:41.10. For the men, Lucas Garrett
would again establish himself as one of the most consistent 800m runners for the Warriors. On the first day of competition, Garrett would lead off the men's 4x800m relay with a 1:59 split. Following that, on the second day of competition, he would run another 1:59 split for the men's DMR. Now, in the men's 800m race, Garrett would cross the line in 2:03.14, earning an 8th
place finish and his third podium finish of the meet.
The 1000 meter run would follow the 800, featuring five Warriors in both the women's and men's races: Madison Caffrey
, Kaitlynn Little
, Renee Lanham
, Zach Williams
, and Aaron Pinkerton
. In the women's race Caffrey ran a season best time of 3:12.6 for a third place finish. Little and Lanham doubled back from the Distance Medley Relay earlier in the day and both ran only a couple seconds off of their personal bests. Little finished 8th
for another podium finish for the Warriors. In the men's race to follow, Zach Williams
and Aaron Pinkerton
also doubled back after stellar performances in the earlier Distance Medley Relay to run competitive races in the toughest field for the event in the meet's history. Williams ran a personal best of 2:42.5 for a 12th
place finish, and Pinkerton finished in 14th
with a time near his personal best.
The finals of the men's and women's 200m dash would be a thrilling one for the Warriors and something that hasn't been done in a very long time if not ever. The 2 heat finals would split Robyn See
in the first heat where she would place 2nd
in her heat with a Sterling record setting time of 26.43. The 2nd
heat would all go 26.26 or faster leaving See placing 6th
overall. Aaron McKnight
would be up next in the 1st
of 2 seeded finals where he as well would place 2nd
in his heat with a 22.66 that would also establish a new Sterling College record. The same circumstances would play out in the men's 2nd
heat and leave McKnight 6th
overall with KCAC honors.
In the women's and men's 3000m races, Sterling would see three of their four athletes set new personal bests in the event. Buckwalter would again drop 4 seconds from her previous meet and a total of 17 seconds on the year for a new PR of 12:10.68. Anna Kuns
would continue to impress her team with a ten second PR from the previous week and a total of 41 seconds from the start of the indoor campaign. For the men, Isaac Barnhart
would run one of the best races of his collegiate career as well as one of the most exciting to watch. Barnhart would battle the full 3000m to a new PR of 9:34, a 16 second lifetime best and place 13th
The last and final event of the weekend would come down to hundredths of a second on the women's side and a 1st
heat blowout for the men. The women would run in the 2nd
of two heats where they would place 3rd
in their heat with a season best 4:16.45. However it would be the .45 that would come back to hurt Sterling as they would miss 3rd
place overall by .36 seconds to finish 4th
overall. The men would easily win their heat, which was the 1st
of 2 with a season best and new SC record time of 3:29.38; however, six teams would race head to head and have the advantage of a much faster race in heat two. Joel Fowler
, Joseph Furry
, Aaron McKnight
and Lucas Garrett
are the new owners of that school record.
"This team went out and gave everything they had day in and day out over the course of this indoor season. I cannot begin to explain how pleased I am with how well they competed and the team dynamic we have going for us right now. The team points don't show how well we did, the new point system messes with that a bit, but this was by far one of the most competitive meets I have been a part of as a Sterling College Warrior, athlete or coach. We will continue to grow and build and develop as a team and look forward to what outdoor has to bring." Coach Jack Dillard