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Track and field teams turn in strong showing at Capital

The Mount Vernon Nazarene University men’s indoor track team placed second out of eight teams at the Jessica Starks Open last weekend.

The Cougars finished with 101 points just 17 shy of the host team, Capital University.

In the field events, sophomore Mitchell Soviak took second place and qualified for the NAIA national championships in the shot put with a throw of 15.58 meters.

Junior Sam Nordquist recorded a high jump of 1.88 meters, good for second place, to go along with a second-place finish in the long jump (6.92 meters).

The Cougars also competed well in both sprints and distance events. Sophomore Carl Jones Jr.’s 7.02 time earned him second out of 12 runners in the men’s 60-meter dash. Freshman Makai Lewis came in third only .02 seconds behind Jones Jr.

In the men’s 200 meters, freshman Joseph Joe took third place, finishing in 23.02 seconds.

Freshman Connor Whitaker landed in second place in the men’s 60-meter hurdles.

Whitaker finished in 8.78 seconds, just .01 second slower than Jimmie Smith of Ohio Dominican University.

The men’s distance medley, consisting of sophomores Noah Menuez, De-Andre Steward and Brennan Crawford and junior Nick Sharpes, took second place, finishing just three seconds slower than the first-place team from Cumberland University. The team finished in 11:13.15.

The women’s indoor team, led by senior Bethany Bogantz, placed fifth out of seven teams competing with a total of 36 points.

Bogantz’s 2:26.61 time in the 800-meter run placed her third out of 15 runners.

The women’s distance medley team, consisting of seniors Bogantz, Rebekah Mullins and sophomores Abby Ellis and Rachel Gerber, finished in first place with a time of 13:25.28.

Freshman Brooklyn Duewel came in fifth in the mile in 5:52.91, and sophomore MaKenzie McKirgan finished fourth in the 3,000 meters in 11:20.65.

The women’s 400-meter relay team (Ellis, senior Allison Paley, sophomore Bryanna Bolha and junior Alexis Kandel) came in third in 4:29.73.

Bogantz described the meet as “good competition.”

“We were able to compete in every event and everyone was giving their best effort,” she said. “Each week we are getting better as a team.”

Bogantz said Head Coach Chip Wilson “has really pushed us leading up to this meet.”

Wilson said he was happy with how the Cougars competed.

“I was very proud of the way our teams prepared for each race,” Wilson said. He recognized the Cougars’ “tremendous effort” and said he expects “continued growth of our teams.”

The Cougars will compete at the Bob Shannon Invitational at Denison University on Saturday.

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