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  • Writer's pictureTye Ojala

All They Do is Win - Clarke Track & Field

Updated: Feb 25



At Clarke there is a buzz in the air around a certain team who is not always in the limelight of the university. Seven school records were broken, three athletes earned their spot in the NAIA National Championships meet and twelve medals were earned overall. Quite the impressive weekend if you ask anyone. Rory Bickler earned a bronze medal in the mile, and silvers in the 3k and 5k. There was a sweep of medals in the women’s pole vault which saw Grace Squires earn gold, Emma Grant with silver, and a tie for bronze with Autumn McLaughlin and Evelyn Lee.

 

The women’s relay team of Jaide Bittinger, Isabelle Matthews, Keona Coleman, and Megan Hageman won gold by a wide margin of 10 seconds in the distance medley relay. Three National qualifiers all came on the men’s side as Daniel Adams, James Vandun, and Noah Church all solidified their spots in Brookings, South Dakota. Daniel Adams qualified a week prior for the NAIA B Standard in high jump but now has moved into the A standard in the meet in Missouri. Lastly, Gavayne Smith broke the school record in the 200-meter dash with a 22.16 time.

 

Adams is no stranger to this success as he was just named field athlete of the week for the Heart of America conference. He had a 2.02-meter clearance in the high jump at the UW-Platteville invite which helped him collect this award. Also, at the UW-Platteville event the relay group of Emmett Schwartzhoff, Josh Musonda, Chesney Capron, and Daniel Miller had a time of 10:45.10 as this beat the previous school record by four seconds.

 

At the Dutch Winter Multi Brody Deitering scored 4771 points to break the Clarke school record and get to third in the heptathlon in the entire NAIA. The top sixteen scores in the entire NAIA go to nationals and he is sitting comfortably at third. Daniel Miller beat the school record in the 3k as he had a time of 9:07.55. On the women’s side Jaycie Franco won the 3k with an 11:06.82 time.

 

At Saint Ambrose earlier on in the year Gabrielle Dillard won the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.93. Samantha Callahan captured a win in the mile with a 6:08.20. Lena Wilson and Megan Hageman won the 600 and 3k events respectively. James Vandun who was mentioned previously earned a school record in the long jump as he won the event by 0.1 with a 6.70-meter jump. In the 300-meter race on the men’s and women’s side records were broken. Allena Rowland broke the record with a time of 40.96 and Brody Deitering broke the men’s record with a 36.55 time.

 

As we can see there have been a lot of great performers for the Pride this year going under the radar. They have been consistently breaking school records, winning events, and qualifying for the NAIA National Championships. This was just for the indoor side of things, so we can expect even more success for Clarke as the outdoor events get under way in a couple of weeks.



Tye Ojala

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