Manchester womens track
The women’s track and field team won the HCAC outdoor title for the first time since 2016. They won the indoor conference title earlier this year.
Photo by MU Athletics

Manchester Women’s Outdoor Track, Field Team Are HCAC Champions

Grace Denison

Manchester University Women’s Spartans’ track and field team won the HCAC outdoor title on Saturday, April 30, at Hanover College.

This is the first time the women’s track and field team has won since 2016. The Manchester University women’s track and field team won both the indoor and outdoor Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference titles for this year. After winning the outdoor HCAC title this weekend junior Brooke Bouwens said: “Going into conference today I was very excited and nervous for our team. I knew we had a lot on our plate, but I know we could handle it. We all showed up today and made history.”

Bouwens competed in the 400 meter, the 400 meter hurdles, 100 meter hurdles, the 4 by 100, 4 by 400 meter. “My outlook was very positive,” she said. “I knew the challenge we had at hand, but I knew how badly we wanted to win. I knew that we all have been working so hard and knew we earned it.

She continued: “Today I pushed boundaries of own limits. I knew what was at stake though. Even when I was tired, I kept pushing through and pushed myself further than I ever have. I could not have done it without my teammates! They made me realize how strong I really am.”

Junior Korynn Kinnaird competed in shot. “I felt confident that both girls and boys would be able to give it their all and push through to get the win,” she said. “As a whole, I felt that we were going to compete well at conference and take the win. I felt that I really gave it my all and the best I could do.”

Bouwens adds: “Throughout the day I was busy. I was cheering on our team and running my races. I was tired however I knew I had to keep pushing for my team. They are what kept me going.”

Junior Adelle Stanko competed in triple jump, high jump, the 4x100, and the 4x400 Saturday. “I was excited but incredibly nervous I wasn’t going to live up to the expectations I had for myself following some of my marks from last season,” she said. “Both Friday and Saturday were full of so much encouragement from the entire team on both sides and sometimes even competitors from other schools. Photo by MU Athletics The men’s track and field team won the HCAC indoor and outdoor conference titles this year. We may have a team of 50 people, but most of us know every single name. We’re screaming our support for every teammate from the jump pits, the throws area, and all around the track is truly the best part of the sport.”

Stanko continued: “After winning by only three points, I am so grateful and proud to be on a team of women who push for every opportunity. No feeling beats stepping onto the podium with my relay team of amazing women! I’m also especially thrilled to have competed and placed second in high jump, which I’ve never tried before.”

Stanko earned a pair of podium placements on the high and triple jump. She placed second in the high jump, clearing 1.47m, and she placed third in the triple jump following a mark of 10.48m.

Hannah Brubaker is a junior who competed in the 1500, 5K, and 10K at the conference. “Going into the conference tournament, I was feeling pretty nervous,” she said. “We lost some teammates since indoors who scored some points, so I knew it was going to take a lot for us to win. However, I was very determined, and so were the rest of my teammates, to bring home the title and to complete our triple crown.”

She continues: “Throughout the two days, I felt very excited and tired. It was a long two days, but I was constantly trying to hype up my teammates and myself, so we could get as many points as possible.”

After Brubaker placed third in the 10 K she reflected: “Honestly, my individual success means absolutely nothing compared to winning as a team. Just like everyone else on my team, we all went into every event wanting to do whatever we possibly could so we could bring home the title. I did my best to do my job and I did what I was supposed to do in two of my events, but I came up just short of the expectation for my third event, but I’m so thankful my team had my back and we could pull off the win anyway.”

Brubaker continued: “This team is amazing! Our team really came together over the last month, but especially over this past week and during the two day tournament. Out of all of my conference titles I have been a part of, this is truly the most special to me.”