Spring Action

by Seth Nailor

Men’s tennis team

finishing strong

The Simpson men’s tennis team enjoyed a very successful week going 3-1.

Simpson dropped its first meet of the week against Central, 1-6. Sophomore Luc Mbenoun led the team playing in the No. 1 spot to earn a victory.

Simpson then finished the week strong beating Dubuque, Loras and Cornell. Simpson won those three matches by a combined score of 19-2.

With these added wins, it puts Simpson fourth in the conference with a probable first round match against the Wartburg Knights in the IIAC tournament.

In Simpson’s previous meeting with the Knights, it resulted in a 4-3 Storm victory.

“It should be a very close match again, we will have to play well to win because they are always very competitive with us,” said Head Coach Bob Nutgrass.

The probable match-up with Wartburg will be a re-match of last year’s first round match that resulted in Simpson senior Brett Martin winning in order for Simpson to win the match.

“Our players of the week are going to be Garret Piklapp and Luc Mbenoun because of their doubles play and they both had some big wins,” said Nutgrass.

The Simpson men will now take a week off and get ready for the IIAC tournament that begins on April 24.

On the women’s court, things are winding down as well.

The women are competing in the spring for the first time in years.

The team defeated Wartburg, lost to Central was rained out against Graceland.

The women will be taking on Grinnell later this week to finish out the season.

Nutgrass feels that the first women’s spring season may not have been quite what he expected, but it will help the program out in the long run.

“It will help with recruiting players that want to play again in the spring. It puts us on more of a level playing field. We just need to make more of a commitment so that we can be a little more competitive,” said Nutgrass.

Personal bests set on Simpson track

The Simpson track teams enjoyed the best weather of the year this past weekend at home for the Simpson College Open.

Highlighting the women’s side was junior Jessica Capper who took first place in the shot put and the discuss. Capper provisionally qualified for the national meet in the shot put, throwing a personal best of 42-5. Capper led the way in what was an impressive showing for the field events.

Sophomore Ross Parker also set a new personal best in the shot put throwing 50-91/2, which provisionally qualified him as well.

Senior Ryan Grinstead had a huge day in the javelin throw beating his previous best by 30 feet. In only his second time throwing the javelin, Grinstead threw 169 feet, putting him into fifth place in the conference.

In the running events, senior Zach Allison improved his provisionally qualifying time in the 400-meter to 48.24 and won that race.

Sophomore Eric Karr finished second in the 100-meter dash running an 11.20 and second in the 200-meter with a time of 22.84 and was a part of the winning 4×400 meter relay.

“Eric Karr had probably one of the best days he’s ever had as a college athlete, and just had a great meet,” said Head Coach Tim Byers.

Freshman Jen Wendt had another standout performance for the women in the 1500-meter run finishing in second place with a time of 4:49. This is seven seconds off of her provisional qualifying time.

The Storm had standout performances from several athletes, but Byers was quick to spread the credit around.

“It’s easy to talk about the people who won and who got first and who had the best times, but if it wasn’t for the rest of the supporting cast, this wouldn’t be possible,” said Byers.