Senior distance runner Lizzie Gleason placed first in the mile at the Kentucky Invitational in Lexington, Ky., Friday, Jan. 17, through Saturday, Jan. 18. The UD track and field team has six spring meets before it will compete at the Atlantic 10 Indoor Conference Championships, Feb. 22 and Feb. 23. (Courtesy of UD Athletics)
By: Katie Obear – Staff Writer
The University of Dayton women’s track and field team had its second meet of the indoor season at the Kentucky Invitational in Lexington, Ky., Friday, Jan. 17 through Saturday, Jan. 18.
Only through their second meet of the season, the Flyers are starting with high ambitions and are looking to perform exceptionally well in their indoor and outdoor seasons, according to senior pole vaulter Hanna Krizmanic.
“I just feel like we all have been working really hard and will be happy where we end up at the end of the season,” Krizmanic said.
After placing in the top five at the Atlantic 10 Conference championship for the past few years, the team looks to continue the trend this season. They have high ambitions, according to head coach Jason Francis.
“The goals are always to qualify people for the NCAA’s, so that is what we are always working on from day one,” Francis said.
On the first night of events in Kentucky, junior thrower Miranda Nelson was the only team representative during the weight throw, throwing her personal best of 16.02 and placing 13th overall.
On Saturday, several other Flyers captured new personal best records.
Two senior distance runners in Lizzie Gleason, who had the best performance of the day and finished first in the mile run at 4:58.59, the only runner under five minutes, and Nicole Cargill, who finished fourth overall with a new personal best time of 5:04.62, set the pace for UD.
“As a team, I think we did pretty well,” Cargill said. “We had a lot of good performances, some we still need to work on. I think with all of our hard work we can turn out to have a really good season.”
Sophomore sprinter and hurdler Jordan Hoffman set a new school and personal record, finishing in 8.76 in the 60-meter dash preliminary round.
Dayton’s pole-vaulters have started out strong this season, with Krizmanic and junior Ashley DeMange earning the top two marks in the first meet of the season with scores of 3.80 and 3.65 meters.
In Lexington, Krizmanic and DeMange both earned the Flyers marks in the top five at 3.75 meters each.
“I can tell each of the pole vaulters is getting stronger and stronger as we go through the season,” Krizmanic said.
Francis said he hopes this continues throughout the team’s schedule.
“The pole vaulters are our strongest event,” Francis said. “We are also strong outdoors in the steeple chase.”
Dayton is an experienced squad. It is composed of 15 juniors and 13 seniors, but welcomes three talented freshmen this season in combined eventer Adria Butler, and distance runners Kathleen Keene and Maggie Pryslak.
“We are looking to our junior and senior class to lead the way and help the talented sophomores and freshmen to perform at high levels,” Francis said.
The Flyers finished the Kentucky meet in ninth place out of 19-teams.
“It was a good meet overall for us, with a lot of outstanding performances that led the way,” Francis said.
Next weekend, the team will continue its schedule at the Gladstein Invitational in Bloomington, Ind., Friday, Jan. 24, through Saturday, Jan. 25.