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Indoor Track and Field 'Breaks the Ice' at Defiance

December 2, 2017


DEFIANCE, Ohio - In a rare head-to-head matchup, the Bluffton University Beavers faced off against the Defiance College Yellow Jackets at the George M. Smart Athletic Center for the “Ice Breaker” meet on Saturday, Dec. 2. Both the men’s and women’s teams won their duals, 78 to 51 and 77 to 54, respectively.

Among the many fine performances of the day, sophomore Dakota Frost’s (Edgerton/Hicksville) school-record-breaking 5000 meter effort was the highlight. Frost broke his own school record set in late February 2017 at the HCAC Indoor championship, yet opened his new season in record style with 15:47.58. The time qualifies Frost for the 2018 championship and will no doubt gain him entry to the All-Ohio championship as well.

Also picking up virtually where he left off from last year’s indoor championship was senior Kyle Knezovich (Utica) who cleared an impressive 15’ 1” season-opener in the pole vault and like Frost, qualified for this year’s HCAC and All-Ohio meets.

As a group, the vault crew earned accolades as four of the Beavers six vaulters posted conference qualifiers. Joining Knezovich were freshman Gabe Makin (Elida) with a height of 13’ 11.25”, sophomore Tori Bowen (Wapakoneta/Elida) at 11’ 1.75” and junior Sarah Oliver (Lexington) with 9’ 4.25”. Adding a distance qualifier along with Frost was sophomore Alexis Cash (Gaines, MI/Lake Fenton) who ran 19:13.85 for 5000 meters. While not a qualifier, sophomore Arie Cox (Ontario) erased an impressive 30 seconds from her previous 3000 meter best.

Several fall sport transplants acquitted themselves well in their first college meet. Volleyball freshman Sarah Heydinger (Tiro/Buckeye Central) impressed with a qualifying 4’ 11.75” high jump clearance while football freshman Omar Warlick (East Point, Mich./Clintondale) punched his ticket with a 7.25 60 meter clocking. Holding up family honors was junior Keturah Warlick (East Point, Mich./Clintondale) who also posted a 60 qualifying time of 8.23 but missed the 200 meter qualifier by a mere 1/100th of a second. For the throwers, senior Erick Benge (Monrovia, Ind./Monrovia) brought home the honors in shot put throwing a PR, qualifying distance of 43’ 3.75”. Bluffton graduate and throws coach Jason Fisher (’10) won the shot put competition with a life-time best 55’ 5.50”.

“I’m really happy with the day,” said head coach Karen Brandt. “To bring home a school record and a number of qualifiers over several disciplines is a great way to start the season. However, I am just as pleased with the team’s performance as a whole. In many events, we had to create our own competition or find the inner drive for a solo performance. Across the board, PR or first-time effort, I saw drive, desire, competitiveness and sportsmanship. I hope today’s meet gives our athletes motivation to train over the semester break to pick up in January with today’s momentum.”

The Beavers will resume their season Friday night, Jan. 12 at the University of Findlay’s Northwest Ohio Invitational/Border Battle. Starting times to be announced.