Track and field team off and running, few hurdles in sight

by Megan Stout

The Simpson men’s and women’s track and field indoor season is just getting underway, and head coach Tim Byers is optimistic about the weeks ahead.

“The athletes have been working really hard in practice,” said Byers.

“On the men’s side, Doug Besch has been running smart, and he makes things happen. Clay Stoddard also has been pole vaulting really well-he jumped 13 feet 6 inches at Central for his first career win and he also set a personal record. On the women’s side, Becky Jolly is doing a great job hurdling. She is also a team captain, and is close to qualifying for nationals.”

Coach Byers also credits his assistant coaching staff for their excellent help this season.

The Storm have had 3 meets so far-Jan. 19 at Buena Vista, Jan. 26 at Central and Feb. 2 at Cornell. At the BV meet, senior high jumper Lucas Carder won his fifth career title with a jump of 6-foot 6-inches.

He was also named IIAC athlete of the week for Jan. 20. Also at the BV meet, sophomore Clay Stoddard and junior Tony Ekman took third in the pole vault and the mile respectively. As for the women, top places included freshman Ashley Friday-fifth in the 1000M, senior Becky Jolly-seventh in the 55M and sophomore Jess Montag-tenth in the shot put.

At the Central Invitational on Jan. 26, Stoddard and Carder again took first in the pole vault and high jump, respectively.

Jolly won the 55 hurdles, freshman Ross Parker won the shot put, senior Jeremy Mohwinkle won the 400M, Ekman won the 800M, Besch won the 3000M, and junior Jeremy Keehn won the 200 hurdles. Also at Central, junior Tracie Whitney finished fifth in the 55M, freshman Sarah Merritt was also fifth in the 200M and Jolly received fourth place in the 200 hurdles.

As for the Feb. 2 meet at Cornell, Carder again took first place in the high jump; Mohwinkle won the 400M again, and Stoddard won another first in the pole vault. Friday took second in the 800M, as did Ekman in the 1000M. Senior Sara Jensen got

third in the 1500M, and Becky Jolly also received a third place finish in the 55 hurdles.

“The team has been doing really well, “said Stoddard, “We are heading in a positive direction, and we are starting to come together as a team.”

Merritt said, “We have been placing fairly well and competing strongly against the competition.”

The next meet for the Storm is on Feb. 9 at Cornell.