KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC track & field teams continued their 2019 indoor season at the Northwest Open in Maryville, Mo., on Saturday.
“Overall it was a solid meet, the team competed hard,” Interim Head Coach Benaud Shirley said. “There is still room for improvement, but we look forward to another good week of practice, and hopefully it will translate into better performances at KU next weekend.”
On the men’s side, the Roos were led by Ekhardt Van der Watt, who claimed the title in the pole vault with mark of 4.81, the fifth best jump in school history.
“The meet was good,” Van der Watt said. “It was different, but I enjoyed the challenge. I'm quite happy with the outcome of the first meet in the States. It's a lot different jumping against 31 athletes, when I'm used to ten.
“Ekhardt did a terrific job in his first collegiate meet,” Clara Amat said. “He cleared plenty of bars and that allowed us to improve his technique throughout the competition. Overall, all the vaulters made progress from their performance last week and put them in a good position to clear important bars in the next few meets.”
In the 800-meter run, meanwhile, Josh Sanders placed fifth with a time of 1:54.46, the fifth best time in school history.
“The race went really well!,” Sanders said. “It was so nice to be back racing in my hometown in front of all my family and former teammates. I really wanted to go out today do something special for my family, so being able to go out and record a big PR and get the number five spot for all-time in the 800 meant a lot to me.”
On the women’s side, Malon Lee finished second in the 200 meter dash at 25.45, Halley Dean finished second in the 3,000 meter run at 10:24.29, Mia Jerman placed second in the 5,000 meter run at 17:48.01, Carolyn Ross finished third in the 400 meter dash at 1:00.09, Katherine Hanners came in third in the 5,000 meter run at 18:20.51, Katy McAuley placed third in the pole vault at 3.67m and Traci Mills finished third in the long jump at 5.58m.
“Today was another step in the right direction,” Assistant Coach Brett Guemmer said. “In the distance races, we are learning about racing strategies, through good and bad experiences. We had a good number of PR's, but we still have work to do. Josh Sanders had a good day, and I know he was pumped to run in his hometown. I'm looking forward to next week at KU.”
The Blue & Gold will be back in action again next weekend when they head to the Jayhawk Classic on Jan. 25-26 in Lawrence, Kan.
– UMKC –