DES MOINES, IOWA – Indiana State sophomore Greggmar Swift advanced to the finals of the men’s 110 meter high hurdles at the 103rd Drake Relays, winning the third heat of the preliminaries Friday with a time of 14.00 seconds. Another highlight for the Sycamores came from the men’s 4x200 meter relay team that set a new Indiana State record.
“We had some bright spots today on a cold and wet day but we certainly could have done better,” John McNichols, Indiana State men’s track & field coach, said. “It is a different round tomorrow with Greggmar in the finals, our shuttle hurdle relay team, two distance guys running tomorrow along with our distance and sprint medley teams we should have a pretty good day.”
Four of the eight competitors to advance to the 110 meter high hurdle finals, which will be run at 4:16 p.m. (ET) Saturday, came from the third heat. Swift outran Nebraska senior Allen Osborn (14.12), Iowa senior Dan Davis (14.19) and Ohio State sophomore Demoye Bogle (14.22) to win the third heat with each advancing to the finals.
Kennesaw State senior Kendall Parks advanced by winning the fourth heat (14.18) while Iowa junior Ethan Holmes won the second heat (14.21), and Florida sophomore Eddie Lovett won the first heat (13.98). Wisconsin-Milwaukee sophomore Durell Busby was second in the first heat but advanced on time (14.01).
Swift and Busby have met once before this season as they two battled at the 2012 Pacesetter Quadrangular at Indiana State two weeks ago. Swift won that race in 14.10 with Busby second at 14.32.
Indiana State men’s 4x200 meter relay team of sophomore Devin Price, sophomore Kevin Piraino, junior Justin Baxtron, and senior Andrew Stull established a new school record as they finished in 1:26.51 for sixth place overall. The Sycamore team broke the record set by Cirino, Jackson, Edwards, and Wright of 1:28.01 back in 2005. Arkansas won the relay with a time of 1:22.27.
Indiana State junior Leeann Michl finished fourth in the women’s seeded 800 meters while junior Richelle Kimble was fifth in the women’s pole vault. Junior Felisha Johnson placed sixth in the women’s shot put while junior Mary Theisen was 19th.
Kimble was one of four vaulters who cleared 13-feet-1½-inches (4.00 meters) in the women’s pole vault but was placed fifth by the number of misses. Illinois sophomore Stephanie Richartz was second, Cincinnati junior MacKenzie Fields third, and Mississippi junior Neal Tisher was fourth.
Eastern Illinois sophomore Jade Riebold won the event by clearing 13-feet-7¼-inches (4.15 meters) on her second attempt. The Panther currently ranks sixth nationally with a vault of 14-feet-1¾-inches at the EIU Tuesday Tweener earlier this week, the same meet where Kimble posted her personal best which ranks 45th nationally but leads the Missouri Valley.
“It was very tough conditions for pole vault,” Angela Martin, Indiana State women’s track & field coach, said. “Richelle handled the wind and cold very well. She was in a position to win but on a day like this, fourth is pretty good.”
The women’s seeded 800 meter race was expected to be tight and excited, and it lived up to expectations with first through 10th separated by just three seconds. Indiana State’s Michl finished fourth in the battle with a time of 2:08.57, just a second behind Kansas State senior Boglarka Bozzay who won in 2:07.48.
“Leeann is not used to running in a pack and got shuffled to the back at the start,” Martin said. “She ran in the second and third lanes for most of the race but had a good finish to get up to fourth.”
Georgia sophomore Megan Malasarte was second (2:07.79) with North Dakota State senior Brittany Schanandore third (2:08.22) and Eastern Illinois senior Megan Gingerich fifth (2:08.66).
Many of the top throwers in the nation are on hand for the Drake Relays and were in action during the women’s shot put Friday with Johnson throwing 53-feet-8½-inches (16.37 meters) to finish sixth and Theisen had a throw of 49-feet-4¼-inches (15.04 meters) to place 19th.
Oklahoma junior Tia Brooks won the event by setting a new Drake Relays record with a distance of 60-feet-7¼-inches (18.47 meters) which moves her to the top of the national performance list. Illinois State junior Brittany Smith was second (57-feet-5-inches) and Southern Illinois senior Jeneva McCall third (56-feet-5¼-inches). Smith currently ranks third nationally in the shot put with McCall fourth. ISU’s Johnson ranks 14th on the national performance list for women’s shot put.
Theisen came back to compete in the women’s discus throw and finished 14th overall with a distance of 163-feet-6-inches (49.83 meters). Nebraska junior Morgan Wilken won the event with a distance of 183-feet-7-inches which moved her to fifth on the national performance list. Theisen currently ranks 33rd on the national list for the women’s discus.
Indiana State senior Maurice Lyke finished 19th in the men’s long jump with a leap of 22-feet-6½-inches (6.87 meters). Missouri junior Malcom Pennix, who ranks fifth on the national performance list, won the event with a leap of 25-feet-3½-inches.
“Maurice had trouble on the runway and that needs to be resolved,” McNichols said.
Tara Perigo competed in the women’s javelin but fouled on each of her first three attempts.
The Sycamore men’s 4x100 meter relay team of Price, Piraino Baxtron, and Stull finished 12th with a time of 41.54 and missed advancing to the finals by less than a second. Indiana State was fifth in the opening heat of the preliminaries. Alabama was the last team to advance to the finals with a time of 40.87 while Baylor has the fastest time heading into the finals at 40.63.
The Indiana State women’s 4x400 meter relay team missed advancing to the finals by less than two seconds as junior Stacia Weatherford, junior Macey Black, sophomore Shelby Higginbottom, and Michl combined to finish in 3:42.48. The Sycamores were 11th overall after finishing fourth in the fourth heat of the preliminaries.
The Sycamore men’s 4x400 meter relay team composed of sophomore Kevin Piraino, freshman Arqeil Shaw, sophomore Max Tuttle, and sophomore Ray Skamay finished 17 th overall with a time of 3:17.41. Florida edged out Texas Southern for the fastest time in the preliminaries at 3:08.797 to 3:08.800 with Florida taking the first heat and Texas Southern the second. Mississippi was the last team to qualify for the Saturday finals at 3:10.19.
Western Michigan was the last team to advance to the finals with a time of 3:40.86 while Mississippi has the fastest time heading into Saturday’s finals with a time of 3:37.62.
Johnson will compete in the women’s hammer throw at 10:00 a.m. (ET) Saturday with Brandon Pounds competing in the men’s discus throw at 10:30 a.m. (ET) and then the men’s hammer throw at 1:30 p.m. (ET). Kalli Dalton will run in the women’s 3,000 meter steeplechase at 12:10 p.m. (ET) with Dustin Betz going in the men’s 3,000 meter steeplechase at 12:25 p.m. (ET). Rounding out the individual competition for ISU will be Ernest Rollins in the men’s triple jump at 1:30 p.m. (ET) and Jeremiah Vaughan in the men’s 1,500 meters at 6:10 p.m. (ET).
Indiana State will also field teams for the men’s and women’s shuttle hurdle relays, the men’s and women’s sprint medley relays, and the men’s distance medley relay.
Former Sycamore Kylie Hutson competed in the Pole Vault at the Mall for the second straight year and watched as Jenn Suhr surpassed Hutson’s record in the event by clearing 15-feet-7-inches (4.75 meters). Hutson cleared 15-feet-5-inches (4.70 meters) a year ago in winning the event. This year Hutson tied Lacy Janson for second as both cleared 14-feet-9-inches (4.50 meters).