The University of Dayton track and field team competed in the 2013 Atlantic 10 Indoor Track and Field Championships hosted by the University of Rhode Island on Saturday, Feb. 16, and Sunday, Feb. 17, in Kingston, R.I.
UD finished in fourth place overall with a combined total of 76 points, and according to head coach Jason Francis, far exceeded expectations.
Francis said the Flyers have been getting ready for the A-10 Indoor meet throughout its early spring schedule.
“It’s a long process, from the very first day of practice, we’ve been moving forward as a team.” Francis said.
The team took advantage of its previous event, the Hoosier Hills in Bloomington, Ind., on Feb. 8 and Feb. 9, by using it as a practice meet to prepare its previously injured athletes for the A-10 championships, Francis said.
He said in the week leading up to the meet, he had the team take it easy to make sure they each were in tip top shape for the big meet.
“We brought their volumes down a little bit, to make sure they’re as fresh as they can be,” he said.
The first day of competition on Friday started strong for Dayton.
In the pole vault event, the Flyers captured the top three spots and racked up 24 points.
Junior Hannah Krizmanic continued her strong season, clearing 12 feet, 5 1/2 inches to earn first place and 10 points for UD. Junior Katrina Steinhauser clinched second place and eight points for the Flyers with a height of 12 feet, 3 inches, and sophomore Ashley DeMange placed third with a jump of 11 feet, 10 inches, receiving six points for her team.
Three Flyers also placed in the weight throw competition, accumulating 10 points for UD.
Senior Renee Otte threw the weight 53 feet, 11 3/4 inches, to finish in first and win five points. Senior Christine Borchers took second place, earning four points with a distance of 53 feet, 1 3/4 inches, beating her old personal record by three feet. Redshirt sophomore Miranda Nelson gained two points with a throw of 50 feet, 8 3/4 inches.
UD’s distance medley relay team of sophomore distance runner Nicole Armstrong, freshman sprinter/hurdler Paige Yeager, sophomore distance runner Chelsey VanHook and sophomore distance runner Katie Ollier finished in eighth place, securing one point for UD.
Sophomore Rebecca Maj finished in fourth place in the pentathlon event, seizing six points for her team, followed by sophomore Katy Garcia in sixth place for three points.
On Saturday, Dayton quickly continued where they left off for day two of the competition, setting several personal and event bests.
Junior hurdler/sprinter Maddi Schmidt set a new school indoor record in the triple jump event, leaping 38 feet, 10 3/4 inches for fifth place. In the 60 meter hurdles, she sprinted across the finish line in eighth with a time of 9.07, securing one point.
Junior distance runner Nicole Cargill broke her previous individual record by five seconds in the 1,000 meter run, passing the finish line in 2:52.68. Junior sprinter Noelle Tazioli set a new personal indoor record of 25.12 seconds in the 200 meters for fourth place.
Junior distance runner Kassy Thomas completed the 500 meter run in 1:19.02 for fifth place and one point. Sophomore distance runner Kelsey McDonald picked up two points for the Flyers in the 800 meter finishing in seventh in a time of 2:18.27.
The 4×800 meter relay team of VanHook, McDonald, Cargill and freshman distance runner Arden Burch finished in fourth place in 19:19.24. Tazioli, Thomas, junior sprinter Mariah Curtis and sophomore sprinter Maya Pedersen teamed up in the 4×400 meter relay, placing in seventh with a time of 3:58.68 for two points.
Maj was more than pleased with how her teammates performed, and more importantly, how they came together as a team.
“We did really well,” she said. “A lot of people did better than we expected to do. We came together as a team and cheered on our teammates to victory.”
According to Francis, the A-10 championships are the most important meets on the team’s schedule, not only because it is the championship, but also because of what it does for the team.
“The indoor and outdoor A-10 championships bring recognition to the program itself and the athletic department for how well we performed,” he said. “We always strive to be one of the top teams in the A-10.”
With the indoor season under their belt, Francis said the team is looking forward to a well deserved break before beginning the outdoor portion of its schedule.
“We get a little bit of a down time while we transition to the outdoor season,” Francis said. “Next week, they’ll get a spring break. They’ll get some time away from their classes and from working out. Then when we get back, we’ll begin hitting it hard for the outdoor season.”
The Flyers are back in action in the Virginia Tech Final Qualifier on March 2 in Blacksburg, Va.