The Mount Vernon Nazarene University men’s track and field team took fourth place out of nine teams at the Bob Shannon Invitational hosted by Denison University last weekend.
The men competed in 14 of the 17 events, finishing with 89 points.
Junior Sam Nordquist took first place in two field events for MVNU. He won the high jump with a height of 1.85 meters and finished the long jump with a distance of 6.57 meters, breaking the Bob Shannon Invitational record by .07 meters.
Nordquist said he is proud of the Cougars’ effort and believes in their ability to compete in “almost every event at the national level.”
“God has a plan for our program, and we pray to relentlessly pursue His will,” Nordquist said.
Freshman Makai Lewis’ 7.07 finish earned him second in the men’s 60-meter dash, just .03 seconds shy of first place. Sophomore Brennan Crawford finished third in the men’s 3000 meters. Crawford’s time was 9:03.68.
Freshman Connor Whitaker took second place in the men’s 60-meter hurdles, finishing .05 seconds behind first place with a time of 8.80.
MVNU’s men’s 4x200 meter relay, consisting of freshmen Lewis and Joseph Joe, sophomore Carl Jones Jr., and junior Stew German finished in 1:33.51, also in second place.
Freshman Dan Sharp, sophomore Noah Menuez, junior Nick Sharpes, and senior Jake Sherer competed in the men’s distance medley. The team finished in 11:02.92 and took second place.
Freshman Mitchell Soviak threw 14.94 meters in the men’s shot put competition, earning him second place.
The Lady Cougars competed in 10 of the 17 events. They took eighth place out of nine teams.
The Lady Cougars highlight came in the women’s distance medley. Sophomores Rachel Gerber and Abby Ellis and seniors Rebekah Mullins and Bethany Bogantz took first place in the medley event for the second straight week, finishing in 13:10.85, 15 seconds quicker than their previous school record.
The medley team, which was ranked fourth out of five teams based on seed times prior to the meet, finished four seconds faster than the second-place team.
Ellis said she is proud of the team and the effort put into the meet. “Each person did exactly what they had to do,” she said.
Sophomore MaKenzie McKirgan took third place in the women’s 3000 meters, finishing in 11:17.55.
Ellis called the competition at Bob Shannon “the toughest we’ve had so far” and “that pushed us to work harder,” she said.
Head Coach Chip Wilson also spoke highly of the competition.
“I was anxious to see how we would respond to the level of competition. I thought we were prepared and confident, and once again, our team responded well to the challenge,” Wilson said.
Wilson said he was “ecstatic” to see the women’s distance medley’s first-place finish.
Ellis said she and the rest of the team look forward to continual growth as a team. “We’ve gotten a lot closer on and off the track,” Ellis said.
The Cougars will compete next in a two-day event at Indiana Wesleyan University, starting Feb, 17.