The Brescia Bearcats men's and women's track and field teams competed in the KIAC Outdoor Track Championships this weekend at Rio Grande University. On Saturday, the teams competed in heavy rain, low temperatures, and strong winds that hit eastern Ohio very hard. However, the Bearcats battled through to a strong performance that saw 11 All-KIAC performances by the men and women.
In the men's competition, Junior standout, Drew Atkins won the 1,500m title by 4 seconds over his nearest competitor. The conference title is the first for Atkins as he has placed 4th in the 800m in the previous two seasons. Atkins also placed 7th in the 5,000m run.
Also, in the 5,000m run, Chase McCauley (Fr.) gained All-Conference honors with his 3rd place finish in the race. Chase's performance was huge success as he was seeded 7th going in to the race.
Freshman sprinter and hurdler, Brent Crawford also had a successful day as he finished with a pair of 5th place finishes in the 400 meter hurdles and also the 110m hurdles. His performance in the 110m race was a Brescia school record.
Fellow sprinter T.J. Miller had an All-KIAC race in the 200m where he finished with a time of 24.14. Miller was also 4th in the 400m and 5th in the high jump. Unfortunately, Miller also went down with an Achilles injury while running the 2nd leg of the 4X400m relay.
Head Coach, Alan Schulze had the following comments about his teams performance, "I'm extremely pleased with every ones efforts today. Every member of the team scored in their focus-event. Drew learned what it took to be a championship miler, today. I think we had a really good game plan going in and he executed well. Chase was a pleasant surprise in the 5K and is only getting better. Brent and TJ both had great days - Brent didn't back down and never gave up and TJ came through as our leading scorer with 12 points in the meet, while being All-Conference in the 200m. The only bad part of the entire day was TJ getting hurt."
Success also held true for the lady Bearcats as they finished 4th in the meet.
Tori King raced to a new school record in the 100m hurdles with a 6th place finish. King also raced the 100m but barely missed scoring.
Freshman, Darrian McNary set 2 new school records at the meet. Her first of the day was in long jump where she gained All-KIAC honors by placing 3rd with a jump of 4.89m. Later, she set another record with her 5th place finish in the 200m with a time of 28.95. McNary also finished 5th in the 400m.
Classmate, Mackenzie Weyer also set a new school record in the shot put. Her toss of 10.88m placed 3rd. She later came back to also finish 4th in the discus.
Senior, Olivia Warren placed 2nd the 10,000m run with a new school record time 40:51. Courtney Naas (Fr.) also ran in the race and finished with a personal best time of 41:40. Naas' performance moves her to second All-Time in school history.
Lastly, the 4x400m relay team of King, McNary, Warren, and Naas placed 2nd after a controversial lack of disqualification from the host school. In the race, a runner from Rio Grande dropped the baton which bounced off the track; the individual then went off the track to retrieve it. Upon finishing, the host team was not disqualified. "In 20 years of being at track meets, I've never seen a team not get disqualified for that.", said Coach Schulze.
The string of bad luck that seemed to the 4X400m relay was not going to let the Bearcats realize that they still had a terrific meet. Coach Schulze had these remarks about the men's team and the meet in general, "Apart the 4X4's where TJ got hurt and the ladies not getting their credit, it was a great day! "Mac" [Weyer] and "D" [McNary] came through for us in a huge way, both scoring 10 points each (and both are freshmen). The 10K duo of Warren and Naas were great as they both go PR's, and Tori had a big time race in the hurdles."
"I'm just really proud of the way the team stuck together and supported one another today and throughout the season.", concluded Coach Schulze.
To conclude the season, Drew Atkins will race at the Cardinal Twilight in his hometown of Louisville, KY on May 8th, while Olivia Warren will race in the NAIA National Championships May 23rd.