Warrior Track and Field Hits Three Potential Qualifying Marks in Day One of Polar Vortex Classic
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Warrior Track and Field Hits Three Potential Qualifying Marks in Day One of Polar Vortex Classic

2/20/21 | Rylee Brown | Sports Information Intern

CALDWELL, Idaho – Lewis-Clark State Track and Field finally had a chance to compete on Saturday with hopes of qualifying for the NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships. On day one of the Polar Vortex Classic, the only indoor meet the LC will compete in before nationals, the Warriors were eager to be back on the track, even if it meant an outdoor one with indoor parameters. LC State had several first-place finishes and many who will advance to event finals tomorrow. Cole Olsen, Clayton VanDyke and Madi Carson all hit potential qualifying marks and won their events.

“I think we had a great opening day for our first and last – other than indoor nationals – track meet,” Head Coach Mike Collins said. “It’s been almost exactly a full year since we’ve competed. Our last track meet was indoor nationals about a year ago, which obviously did not include the entire team, so for a lot of these kids it’s been more than a year since competing and some actually haven’t competed since high school.

“Getting out today and actually competing; I think coaches were just as excited about getting going as the athletes were and this opportunity was just satisfying, no matter what the results were,” Collins continued. “But, obviously, we are excited about the results and we have some potential national qualifiers and won’t know until probably Monday, but we will be anxiously waiting for final declarations to be made.”

THE WOMEN

Senior Carson won the pole vault, hitting a potential national-qualifying mark of 3.57m (11’8.5”) in her second attempt. She bested seven others, including five from Eastern Oregon. Carson also placed third in the 60m hurdle prelims (9.85), and will compete in the final on Sunday.

The Warriors have three women moving on to the finals in the 60m dash. Freshman Anika Grogan placed second overall in the prelims with a time of 8.16. Rebekka Kalmback was fourth (8.24) and Nikki Halbert earned a spot in fifth with an 8.26.

In the 600m, Ashley Britt led the Warriors with a first-place finish (1:38.65). She was also second in the 60m hurdles (9.69) and will race in the final tomorrow. Geraldin Correa was second in the 600m (1:40.76), followed by Karlie Smith in third (1:42.14) and Maja Plaznik rounded out the top four with a time of 1:42.15.

Freshman Keelyn Pilcher finished fifth in the 60m hurdles with a 10.36. Britt and Pilcher will advance to the final’s tomorrow, along with Carson.

In the 200m prelims, three Warrior women advanced to the finals. Grogan led the ladies with a first-place finish and a time of 26.48. Kalmbach was second (26.51) and Halbert came in fifth (27.17).

Ciera Bailey placed fourth overall in the 400m with a time of 1:07.

In the distance events, Callie Johnson placed third in the 5,000m with a 19:09, followed by Emily Adams in fourth (19:14). Freshman Abigail Gorton placed sixth in the event (19:44). Rylee Brown finished fourth in the 1,000m (3:11).

In the mile, Brooklyn Shell won her heat and finished sixth overall with a time of 5:34. Bailey finished 10th (5:53), followed by Carli Jones in 13th (6:08), and Kelsey Henry in 14th (6:11).

THE MEN

VanDyke ran one of the top-five fastest 1,000m races in the NAIA so far this season and won the event in the process. His time of 2:28 followed a strong victory in the mile with a time of 4:18. Josh Lay placed eighth in the mile with a time of 4:41 and, freshman David Phillis finished 10th (4:44). Freshman Carter Gordon finished fourth in the 1,000m with 2:39.

Olsen had another dominate performance, this time in the 5,000m, with a first-place finish and a time of 14:42 to potentially qualify for nationals. Chase Borrow earned a third-place finish (15:31) and Andrew Larson placed seventh with a 16:16.

Christian Bothwell had a busy day and finished fourth in the heptathlon. He ran a time of 7.50 in the 60m dash and reached marks of 6.00m in the long jump, 10.20m in the shot put, and 1.69m in the high jump.

In the 600m, Phillis finished in third (1:27) and Lay placed fifth with a 1:29.

Louis Pennow placed sixth (7.40) in the 6m dash, and Matthew Hroma clinched an eighth-place finish (7.64), to both earn a spot in the finals tomorrow.

Sean Spencer finished third in the 60m hurdle prelims (9.04), followed by Ike Hopper in fourth (9.42).

In the 200m prelims, Pennow and Spencer both earns a spot in the finals. Pennow finished in seventh (23:91) and Spencer followed in eighth (23.96).

Spencer added another race to his day with the 400m and finished second with a time of 52.25. Gordon placed third (52.86) and Hroma earned sixth with a 55.12.

The Warriors wrap up the meet tomorrow starting with the women’s 4x800m relay at 11:30 a.m. 

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