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April 15, 2016

MU Track & Field Battle Elements, Competitors

Guerby Ruuska

Manchester University’s track and field teams have had a rough start to the season due to poor weather, but despite the conditions, the Spartans had a strong first showing at Hanover College last week.

“The weather was really terrible at the meet,” Coach Brian Cashdollar said. “But what I saw in the athletes was their ability to compete despite the weather.  We had some big performances considering the conditions.”

Junior distance runner Tiffany Harber (Columbia City, Ind.) started the meet strongly for the Spartans. Harber ran away with a victory in the women's 10,000 meter run while sophomore thrower Jacey Cauhorn (Kendallville, Ind.) followed up with a victory in the women's discus throw. While her team was having a strong first showing, distance runner standout Mariah Jordan (Fort Wayne, Ind.) was competing at a DIII national meet at Washington University.

“We knew that Mariah had the ability to run that well in the 10,000m,” Cashdollar said. “She has performed very consistently all year.  That consistency is what gives opportunity for big performances.”

On the men's side, first-year sprinter Austin Coughlin (Fairland, Ind.), raced to a 3rd place finish in the men's 100 meter dash while in the longer distances it was junior Connor Bresnahan (Portage, Mich.) who placed 5th in the Men's 10,000 meter run. Junior jump specialist Ramsen Bet-Nimrod (Rochester, Ind.) had an impressive showing by placing 3rd in the men’s high jump.

However, poor weather once again came between them and their competition. The Huntington Invitational was cancelled due to poor conditions, leaving the Spartans with one meet under their belt while most teams have already had three.

Despite the weather, Coach Cashdollar has the teams focused and ready for this coming week's meet at DePauw University.

“We never try to maximize our team performance until the HCAC championships,” he said. “Competing at 100 percent in a number of events is difficult to recover from, so we want to make sure that our athletes come away from meets with bench marks of performance but at the same time have the ability for their bodies to continue to develop within their events.”

With limited chances to make conference standards, MU will look to put up some big performances at DePauw where Cashdollar and the rest of his staff have prepared the team for some great performances. The Spartans will have one last shot after that on their home turf when Manchester hosts its own invitational on April 23.