Manchester University
Oak Leaves

March 10, 2017

Track and Field

Mariah Jordan dominates in distance events at Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships.

Track and Field Races, Vaults through Indoor Season

Virginia Rendler 

As the Manchester University track and field team wraps up its indoor season, excitement is high to begin racing outdoors, beginning Apr 1.
The indoor season consisted of six meets: two at Rose Hulman and Anderson and singles at Trine and Defiance. The final meet, at Rose Hulman on Feb. 18, was the 2017 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships (HCAC).

Many personal records were achieved in the HCAC. Runner Sarah Arney, senior, was first in the 3000 meters. Senior Shay Aator performed the season’s best 20-pound weight throw, and the Spartans held high positions in team point standings.
Participating in track and field is not always easy. During the month of February, the team had to meet for practice twice a day due to the slim availability of equipment in the gym. In addition, they were required to participate in weight lifting individually. Some team members were working out three times a day for three days of the week or more.

This rigorous schedule required the team to have excellent time management skills. Although the schedule seems to be overwhelming, Bella Case, first-year pole vaulter, said she enjoyed staying busy and having places to be. “Every weekend for the past two months, I have had a meet to attend,” Case said. “All I had to worry about was cheering on my teammates, competing and improving my vault skills! I loved it!

Case is also proud of her sport. “I love it because it is thrilling,” she explained. “It takes a lot of courage to run at a mat, while holding a stick, aiming to fling myself over a bar. I think it is awesome to say I do an event that very few people can successfully do, and I am looking forward to leaping to higher and higher heights. I also am looking forward to seeing my teammates succeed and win races.”

Oftentimes the ‘field’ half of track and field is overlooked in media coverage, and many throwers, vaulters and others are left out in favor of runners. Case explained that, as a pole vaulter, she thinks people often don’t associate the ‘field’ with the running. “I think that's how the field seems left out,” she said. “Specifically, on the team, the field part is not lesser or left out; over half the team is involved in fields. This shows how important the field events are for bringing in points just like the running events.”

The team is eager for the outdoor season to begin. “I can’t wait for outdoor!” Case exclaimed. “Spending all day outdoors every Saturday, as the weather gets nicer and warmer, is what I love about track. Jumping out in the elements is definitely more difficult, but it makes vaulting even more exciting and challenging!”