WESTERVILLE, Ohio - The Spring Arbor University track and field teams competed at the Otterbein University Twilight Invitational on Friday. The Cougar women finished third out of 13 teams while the men's squad earned ninth place in the 15-team field.
Highlighting the performances for SAU was junior Bethany Kuenzer's first place finish in the pole vault where she hit the NAIA B standard clearing 11' 7.75" (3.55m). Fellow junior Leslie Tanis posted a new school record in the hammer throw with a mark of 135' 4" (41.24m).
EVENT: Otterbein Twilight Invitational
TEAM FINISH: Men – 9th of 15 | Women – 3rd of 13
LOCATION: Otterbein University | Westerville, Ohio
- Kevin Smith recorded a fourth place finish in the pole vault. Smith hit a height of 13' 5.75" (4.11m) that ranks as the 10th-best performance in program history.
- Mitchell Jurek earned an eighth place finish in the pole vault with a height of 12' (3.66m).
- Austin Hundley finished 10th in the javelin with a distance of 16' 1" (32.35m). Hundley's 12th place finish in the shot put, 39' 8.75" (12.11m), ranks him ninth all-time at SAU.
- On the track, Jacob Hoppe placed fifth in the 3000 steeplechase with a time of 11:03.58.
- Logan Robart clinched an SAU Top 10 spot, earning himself eighth place with a time of 4:10.45 in the 1500 meter run.
- Jeremy Goodson finished fourth in the 400 meter run posting a time of 51.36 seconds.
- Spring Arbor posted several impressive results in the field events – highlighted by Kuenzer's first place finish in the pole vault. Her vault of 11' 7.75" (3.55m) earned her a trip to the 2017 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships.
- Katrina Tover followed behind Kuenzer with a second place finish in the event with a height of 11' 1.75" (3.40m). Tovar also finished third in the long jump with a distance of 16' 10.5" (5.14m). Earning another second place finish, Tover finished with a triple jump distance of 34' 7.5" (10.55m).
- Three athletes finished in the top-10 for discus. Ryann Laier earned a fourth place finish with a distance of 124' 11" (38.08m), which ranks fifth all-time at SAU. Savanna Justice finished ninth with a distance of 107' 2" (32.67m) and Sarah Sixberry followed in 10th place with 103' 6" (31.56m).
- Jessica Khoury finished in ninth place in the long jump with a distance of 15' 7.75" (4.77m).
- Four SAU women etched their names in the SAU record books for the hammer throw. Leslie Tanis led the way, earning a sixth place finish with a distance of 135' 3" (41.24m), becoming the all-time record holder at SAU. Rachel Coon (111' 6"), Shoshannah Smith (109' 10") and Justice (102' 7") also posted PR's.
- Tanis also hit a career-best in the javelin throw, launching it a distance of 112' 1" (34.17m), which ranks second all-time at SAU. Laier followed close behind with a mark of 103' 6" (31.56m) – good enough for fifth on the program's all-time list.
- On the track, three SAU women finished in the top-10 of the 5000 meter run. Victoria Harper finished in second place with a time of 18:37.05 – making her seventh all-time at SAU. Kelli Smith earned sixth place, running a time of 19:15.19 and Hannah Hoffmann finished in ninth place with a time of 19:25.15.
- In addition to her strong performances in the field events, Tovar also advanced to the 100 meter hurdles finals. She would finish sixth with a time of 16.51.
- Grace Sallee took fifth in the 3000 steeplechase, completing the race in 15:38.92.
- Lydia Haavisto and Alicia Schmidtendorff both posted PR times in the 400 meter hurdles. Haavisto placed ninth in 1:13.01 while Schmidtendorff followed in 10th in 1:13.06.
Spring Arbor will travel to Hillsdale, Michigan on Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29 for the Gina Relays, hosted by Hillsdale College, in its final tune-up before the Crossroads League Championships on May 5-6.