Following the first day of events at the Indiana Relays, head coach Elvis Forde was pleased with the team’s performance, but knew they could improve in some areas.
“All in all, we had a very good day, but we know where we need some improvements, which is the short sprints on the men’s and women’s side,” Forde said. “We were not as fresh as I would have liked to see us, but we are still learning … Overall, it was a good day of performance, and we had a number of runners in the Invitational events, which were exciting to watch.”
Throwers Akil Mills and Curt Jensen both threw their way into the next day’s throwing competitions.
Dave Eckhart improved his season-high mile time by six seconds to finish third. Aidan Askin did the same to capture fifth. They also teamed with Ryan Bybee and Coty Kramer to win the men’s Distance Medley Relay. They ran a time of 10:05.32 to finish first.
Jianna Williams also won the weight throw and shot put competitions on the women’s side.
Day two led to some disappointment however, as no Redbirds would find a first-place finish.
“The meet in general was a little bit tougher than yesterday … we had some great performances, and today we only held our own for some degree. It was nothing spectacular on any front,” Forde said. “Chase [Pavelonis] was doing very well, but didn’t quite hit his first height, which was tough to see. Julia [Ott] is still putting some things together, even after breaking the record last weekend. It is expected with pole vault. You always see kids have up and down weeks.”
Pavelonis could not clear the opening height of 4.85m in the men’s pole vault. Ott could not clear the second height of 3.95m in the women’s pole vault.
Jensen and Mills finished second and third in the shot put and weight throw, respectively.
Tyler Morse finished second in the 5,000-meter race as well with a time of 14:56.53. Kristen Zillmer ran a season-fastest time of 2:12.18 in the 800-meter run while Kaley Ummel and Jackie Mink finished with times of 2:16.37 and 2:18.51.
Ashley Kamin, Rachel Brewer, Kim Christensen and Kelly McShea, who competed together in the 4X800-meter relay and finished seventh with a time of 9:21.68.
“Today it seemed as if the running was a little bit more difficult on the track, and I think some of our freshmen still have a lot of learning to do, especially when it comes to running on the bank tracks,” Forde said.
The Redbirds will compete again next weekend Feb. 7-8 with part of the team heading to Notre Dame for the Meyo Invitational. The rest of the squad will compete at the Keck Invitational at Illinois Wesleyan.