On Saturday, Dec. 4, the women’s track and field team participated in their first meet, the Mel Tjeerdsma Open, at Northwest Missouri State University. Junior Hanna Williams finished second in the 400-meter dash, posting an NCAA provisional qualifying mark. Williams ran 56.77, which did not surpass her record but was three-hundredths faster than the NCAA provisional qualifying time. Two other Griffons placed in the top five for the 400-meter dash; Freshman Aneesa Abdul-Hameed placed fourth with a time of 58.48 and freshman Kristi Ewing placed fifth with a time of 59.82.
The women’s track and field team had two first-place finishes at the meet in Maryville, Missouri. Freshman Alexis Adams flew past the competition in the 800-meter dash with a time of 2:19.07. Junior Megan Gillen won gold in the mile with a time of 5:18.25 and she also placed fifth in the 800-meter dash, finishing at the 2:25.88 mark.
“It felt really good to be able to showcase the hard work and training I’ve been doing since early August,” Adams said. “I knew the training my coaches had given my team and I set us up for success.”
The Griffons had several other good finishes, including junior Halley Wilmes’s second place in the 1,000 meters, finishing in 3:11.68, and junior Paige Kvale who finished right behind Wilmes with a time of 3:12.04. Freshman Lillian Cutler placed third in the mile with a time of 5:22.88, close behind Gillen. In the 5,000 meter finals, Junior Allison Goos took home the bronze, finishing at 18:26, and freshman Abby Kinney came next with a time of 20:35.61. Junior Lynzi Miller placed fourth in the 60 hurdle finals at a 9.14 mark. In the 4x400 meter relay, Western won the bronze, with the team consisting of Ewing, Williams, Adams and Abdul-Hameed. In the long jump, junior Bailey Gilbert finished fourth with a mark of 5.41 meters and freshman Olivia Frisbee placed fourth in the weight throw finals at a 14.13 meter mark.
“The women’s team competed very well; everyone stepped up and raced how they were supposed to," Head Coach Cody Ingold said.
The Missouri Western track and field team will be back in Maryville, Missouri, on Jan. 22 to participate in the Northwest Open.
“We want to continue breaking records and hopefully hit more qualifying marks throughout the rest of the season," Ingold said.