Flyers excel in first of three Bloomington trips

GLEASON_LIZZIE - A10 OUTDOOR 1wSenior distance runner Lizzie Gleason leaps during a steeplechase race at the Atlantic 10 Outdoor Track and Field Championships, May 5, 2013. Junior distance runner Chelsea VanHook was one of several UD track and fielders to set high marks at the Gladstein Invitational, Friday, Jan. 24, and Saturday, Jan. 25. Courtesy of UD Athletics/Sam Roberts

By: Katie Obear – Staff Writer

The University of Dayton track and field team competed in its third meet of the indoor season Friday, Jan. 24, and Saturday, Jan. 25 at the Gladstein Invitational in Bloomington, Ind.

“We had a good few days of competition,” said head coach Jason Francis. “The women really competed hard both Friday and Saturday and everyone was really able to take something away from the weekend. We grew and are better because of our competition this weekend and are looking to use what we learned this week, certainly because we are going back to IU next weekend.”

During this meet, junior distance runner Chelsea VanHook set a new personal best and school record time in the 600-meter event with 1:36:47. The time was just inside two seconds of her previous best.

“I felt going into the season that I’d been in a really good spot and then earlier this season I had improved on my previous personal time and knew I was close to the school record,” VanHook said.

The Flyers felt they performed strongly due to their record breaking times.

“We saw a lot of nation leading performances this weekend and even a couple world leading performances,” Francis said.
“It’s nice to compete well at such a high competition.”

Dayton also had many other members of the team set new personal records.

Junior combined eventer Katy Garcia tied for first in the high jump, setting a new personal best of 1.70 meters. She also took fourth in the pentathlon with 3246 points, which was a top five all-time performance for the Flyers.

Junior distance runner Megan Collins and junior pole vaulter Ashley DeMange also set their own personal best marks this past weekend in the 3000-meters and the pole vault.

Junior distance runner Mary List also set her personal best in the 3000-meters with a time of 10:25.79.

During her event, List had a minor hiccup with a fall, but got right back up and continued to set her best time.

Vanhook said List showed grit in her performance.

“She just picked herself up and finished the race and still ran a really good time,” VanHook said. “I just think that takes a lot of heart to literally pick yourself up after you fall.”

As the Flyers mentally and physically prepare for each meet and for conference, VanHook said they continue to work harder and harder each week.

“I think staying focused when we are around the competition is always something that we work on to prepare ourself for the bigger meets,” VanHook said. “When we get to conference, we are already in the mind set that we have already competed against tough teams and fast times and far marks. So when we get to conference we will be prepared for that.”

Next weekend, the Flyers will be heading back for a second straight trip to Bloomington at the Indiana Relays Friday, Jan. 31, and Saturday, Feb. 1.

“We are going to build off the success we had this week and use that as we move forward and ride that positive momentum we have been having week in and week out,” Francis said.