Manchester mens track
The men’s track and field team won the HCAC indoor and outdoor conference titles this year.
Photo by MU Athletics

Men’s Track, Field Team Wins HCAC Outdoor Championship

Grace Denison

Manchester University’s men’s track and field team won the conference title on April 30 at the HCAC outdoor championship at Hanover College.

The men’s team won both the indoor and outdoor championship this year. Head coach Brian Cashdollar was named HCAC Coach of the Year for the men’s team because of their “stellar performances.”

Junior Enrique Salazar was named the HCAC Men’s Distance Athlete of the year for the second time after also being named during indoor track season. “Going into the meet, we kind of had a small head of steam after winning the Indoor Conference, but still understood the fact that anything could happen,” Salazar said. “I knew I would be running a lot; I’ve never raced 5 times in 24 hours, but I also knew that I had the heart to go into every race with the same amount of effort no matter how I was physically or mentally feeling. I had a job to get done and I wasn’t going to stop until my body gave out and the job was done.”

Salazar also won three individual titles this weekend by breaking the HCAC meet record that has not been broken since 1999. Salazar also gained the title for the 1500m and placed a runner up finish for the Spartans in the 800m. “Every single person across the two day meet did what they were supposed to do: compete. Spartan for Spartan,” he said. “Out in the throwing rings, the jump pits, the javelin fields, and on the track. I’m proud of every single person that competed and cheered because we couldn’t of done it without them.

“I’m not there to win for myself really,” he continued. “Because what’s that really worth if you have no one to celebrate with? I am a teammate first and foremost. The title belongs to me just as much as it belongs to a sprinter, jumper, thrower, everyone. And I wouldn’t have wanted to win with anyone else except the teammates I have.”

Salazar reflects: “During the 5k, I was a little worried. I was tired, hurting, running on fumes a little bit, but I rid my head of all negative thoughts and pushed myself. This race came down to the wire because I saved my kick for the last 30ish meters and took the win. I was dead, laying on the track after I crossed the line, knowing I just put my heart out there for my team and I don’t care if I’m tired or sore or dead because it was all worth it.”

A 4x100m relay team of first years, Gabe Melvin, Duriel Moss Jr and Quentin Willis joined with Junior Tristen Bronaugh to place a new record for Manchester University with a combined time of 42.07. “We broke the school record and stadium record which was amazing,” Bronaugh said.

“At the start of the day I knew the 4x1 team needed to set the tone and we did so by breaking the school record and stadium record as well as placing 1st in the event,” Melvin said.

He continued: “For the men’s and women’s, I feel like both really wanted it not for ourselves but for the coaches because we all know the amount of work these coaches did for us and how good they’ve been we all know how bad Coach Cash wanted this as well.”

Individually, first year Willis gained a runner- up finish in the 110m hurtles with a 15.70 time. First year Moss Jr placed third in the 100m dash with a new PR of 10.98 and made him fifth on the all-time Manchester University top ten listings. Moss Jr also gained the fourth all time in the 200m after his sprint time of 22.02 in the prelims Friday.

As for Junior Bronaugh, he placed the seventh overall for Manchester University in the 400m with a time of 50.13. “I felt pretty good going into conference; I knew if we executed, we could get it done,” he said. “My outlook on myself is I thought I did all right; I would have liked to get top 3 in the 400. I still hit a pr which was nice.”

Senior Joe Garling gained himself an HCAC title in the hammer throw. Garling marked 51.06m and still holds his second all-time Manchester University rank.