Track and field hopes for a happy holiday

PHOTO+SUBMITTED+BY+UCM+ATHLETICS+MEDIA+RELATIONS%0ASenior+Katie+Cassidy+was+an+All-American+in+the+indoor+pentathlon+and+indoor+4x400m+relay+in+2015-16.

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY UCM ATHLETICS MEDIA RELATIONS Senior Katie Cassidy was an All-American in the indoor pentathlon and indoor 4x400m relay in 2015-16.

Written by Muleskinner Staff

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY UCM ATHLETICS MEDIA RELATIONS Senior Katie Cassidy was an All-American in the indoor pentathlon and indoor 4x400m relay in 2015-16.
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY UCM ATHLETICS MEDIA RELATIONS
Senior Katie Cassidy was an All-American in the indoor pentathlon and indoor 4x400m relay in 2015-16.

By JACOB WOERTHER
Sports Reporter

(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) — The Jennies and Mules track and field teams will kick off their indoor season this weekend as they head to Crete, Nebraska, for the Doane College Happy Holiday Multi Meet.

The track and field program is heading into the indoor season following a stellar performance in last year’s NCAA Indoor Championship.

The Mules and Jennies finished the championship weekend with 18 team points and tied for 11th place. Heavin Warner, Cole Phillips, Katie Cassidy, Jacob Mahin, Caniggia Raynor, and the Women’s 4x400m relay team earned All-American awards at the event.

Kurtis Brondyke, assistant track and field coach, said he expects similar dominance from his athletes this year as they prepare for their season opener.

“We have really high expectations,” Brondyke said. “We red-shirted a lot of guys and brought some guys back from injury last year. We feel like we’re going to be a very competitive, strong team at the conference level this year.”

This weekend’s meet will strictly consist of multi-events such as the pentathlon and the heptathlon.

The Jennies excelled in multi-events last winter. Katie Cassidy finished fourth in the pentathlon in the MIAA Championship and placed eighth in the NCAA Championship. Victoria Jackson found similar success in the pentathlon, placing second in the MIAA Championship and 11th in the NCAA Championship.

Blake Sietz represented the Mules in championship multi-events last season, placing third in the heptathlon at the MIAA championship and 15th at the NCAA Championship.

While the program depends heavily on these three senior stars when it comes to multi-events, Brondyke made it clear that he isn’t concerned for the Mules’ and Jennies’ future in these competitions.

“There’s definitely some young blood in the system that we’re really excited about,” he said. “You never really know what you’re going to get (from young talent).”

Brondyke said the team not only benefited from the addition of young talent, but also added to its already impressive senior line-up.

He said he has high hopes for Devin Cornelius, a senior transfer from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York. Cornelius is a two-time Division III All-American and finished fifth in the heptathlon at the NCAA Championship.

Cornelius and his fellow multi-event competitors will have their moment to shine Dec. 2-3, at the Doane College Happy Holiday Multi Meet. The remainder of the Mules and Jennies track and field teams will have their first competition Jan. 20, in Warrensburg, at the UCM Invitational.

Brondyke said the teams have worked hard in the offseason and had a good fall.

“We’re just ready to lace up, get on the track and compete.”