Mules track and field Wins first MIAA Championship since 2011

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(BOLIVAR, Mo.) – The Central Missouri Mules track and field team scored 135 points at the MIAA Championships May 5-7 to share a team title with Lincoln.
This was the Mules 21st championship and their first in six years, according to a news release.
The Jennies took third place on the women’s side, coming within five points of second place. Overall, there were six conference championships won and three school records broken.
Day two saw four UCM champions, three Mules and one Jennie, as well as two school records broken on the women’s side. Cole Phillips won his sixth overall MIAA Championship in the pole vault, clearing 16-10.75. Blake Seitz and Jacob Mahin each won their first. Seitz completed the two day decathlon with a personal-best score of 7,220, one point better than his previous best. Mahin threw 58-9.25 in the shot put. Both seniors, Seitz and Mahin, are multiple time All-Americans, winning their first MIAA Championship.
Katie Cassidy was the winner on the women’s side. She led after day one and held on for a win in the heptathlon scoring a personal-best of 5,097, moving her to seventh all-time at UCM.
On the third day, Kailey Fuchs doubled up on her indoor 800-meter title, winning the outdoor in 2:09.92. Jace Kaleikau won his first career MIAA Championship in the hammer throw with a personal record 200-5 toss as the Mules went first through third in the hammer.
Two records fell on Saturday and one Sunday. On the track, Emily Thole sprinted to a time of 55.76 in the 400-meter dash. She joins teammate Kailey Fuchs as the only Jennie to ever run below 56 seconds in the 400. Thole’s time was an NCAA provisional qualifier and the fourth-fastest times in the preliminary round. She then bettered herself in the finals, running 55.15 and finishing third overall.
Brittany Kallenberger broke her own school record in the pole vault, jumping 13-4.5 and hitting an NCAA automatic qualifying mark. The All-American took second in the meet.
Chris Swearingin broke his own school record. He entered the meet fourth in the conference, but finished second after a throw of 220-0.
Not only did Seitz and Cassidy win their events, but seven total scored points for UCM. Victoria Jackson (4690) and Elias Roelfsema (6147) each took fifth place, Devin Cornelius (6098) was sixth and Hannah VanBuskirk and Cassidy Harris tied for seventh place (4,608).
The Jennies had a winner in each event on day one, and four of seven total events. Jackson won two, starting the heptathlon with a win in the 100-meter hurdles, running 14.43, and then taking the shot put at 41-8.5. VanBuskirk took the high bar in the high jump clearing 5-6.5 and Cassidy won an event, sprinting to a 25.13 finish in the 200. Cassidy was also second in the high jump (5-4.25), shot put (38-2.75), long jump (18-7.5) and 800 (2:18.04). The shot put mark is an outdoor personal-best.
VanBuskirk ran a personal-best to start the event with a 15.26 time in the 100 hurdles. Harris’ top finishes came in the high jump where she placed sixth, jumping 5-1.75, and javelin, placing fifth with 113-5. Becker took seventh in the both the 100 hurdles (15.31) and shot put (33-9.25) and fourth in the javelin throwing 115-2.
For the Mules, Seitz won four events. Day one saw wins in both the shot put and the high jump. He threw 43-5.75 in the shot and cleared 6-4.75. He then set a personal record in the pole vault, jumping 14-7.25 and threw 196-2 in the javelin. He also had a personal-best in the long jump, finishing second by jumping 23-0.5.
Roelfsema had a new personal-best score of 6,147. He was third in the javelin, throwing 158-11, and fourth in the pole vault, jumping 13-3.5. He also set personal records in the the shot put where he placed seventh, throwing 38-3.25, and an outdoor best in the high jump, clearing 6 feet, which was good for seventh place.
Cornelius was in fourth after day one with 3,669 points, with a third-place finish in the 100, running 11.07, and a 50.90 in the 400, but a no height in the pole vault sunk his score. That didn’t deter him from competing through the final two events and scoring for the Mules. The indoor All-American took fourth in the javelin, throwing 153-6, and his 1500 gave him a sixth-place finish and three team points for UCM, which proved to be invaluable later.
The sprinters enjoyed a weekend on the track, with Thole’s school record just being one of many highlights. Alliah McClendon scored in a pair of events, jumping into the UCM all-time top-10 in both. She took fourth in the 100 hurdles, running 14.16, eighth at UCM, and was seventh in the 100 with a time of 12.30. She qualified for the finals, running 11.93 in the prelims, the third fastest in UCM history.
Jackson concluded her busy weekend with the 100 hurdles where she took seventh with a time of 14.78. Laia Gonzalez was 16th, running 15.34, and just missed the finals in the 400 hurdles, running a personal record of 1:03.63 for ninth place.
Sticking with the short sprints, two Mules made the finals of the 100. Tyson Holcombe ran his way into the all-time top-10, placing seventh in 10.65, good for 10th all-time. He then finished sixth in the finals, running 10.69. Franklin Hunt set a personal record of 10.68 in the prelims and finished eighth with a time of 10.76 in the finals. Brendan Black finished 20th, running 11.11.
Holcombe went on to take eighth in the 200 with a time of 21.74. Hunt was 16th, running 22.05 and Blake Johnson matched his personal record with a time of 22.14 for 17th place.
Thole wasn’t the only one cracking the UCM top-five in the 400. Gardner took seventh in the prelims, running 56.58, qualifying for the finals. That time puts her fourth at UCM. She finished seventh in the final round running 57.46.
Gardner later set a new personal record in the 200 and moved to ninth all-time, running 24.98 and finishing ninth, just missing out on the final round. Kacey Kohlhof ran 25.79 for 15th place and Jyl Stewart was 22nd, running 26.19 for 22nd in the 200.
Two Mules also made the finals of the 400. Osvaldo Granillo set a personal-best, running 47.61, and took fifth. That time puts him fifth all-time at UCM. Michael Lockhart had to run without a seedtime, but still made finals and took seventh after crossing the line in 48.39. Another UCM finisher took ninth, just missing finals, this time it was Jacob Weber. He ran a 49.13. Corbin Lowe matched his personal record, running 49.71 for 13th place and James Willis ran 50.25 for 16th place.
Andrew Bodicky ran the finals in two hurdle races. He was seventh in the sprint hurdles, running 15.09 for 110 meters. He set a personal record in the prelims, running 14.85. Bodicky then ran the 400 hurdles and took seventh in 54.30. Trevor Gonzales was a spot ahead of Bodicky in the 400 hurdles, running a personal-best 54.08. Matt Scaletty was 10th in the 400 hurdles in 55.60 and Jimmy Scott ran a personal record of 15.16 in the 110 hurdles to place 13th.
Cassidy scored in the 400 hurdles as well for the Jennies, taking fourth and running 1:00.69.
The Mules had the lead going into the final event, the 4×400 relay. The team of Weber, Randle, Lockhart and Granillo ran a season-best 3:10.86 and finished in third place, but Lincoln’s win in the event evened the team score.
The Jennies also set a new season-best in the quarter-mile relay, as Cassidy, Gonzalez, Thole and Fuchs ran 3:43.25, also finishing third. That time is the second-fastest in UCM history.
In the sprint relay, nearly an identical Jennies team (swap McClendon for Gonzalez) ran 46.88, also second-fastest in team history. The Mules team of Hunt, Johnson, Black and Holcombe took third place from the first heat (which they won) in 41.54.
Perhaps no group had a bigger impact on the Mules team score than the hammer throwers. The quintet of Jace Kalikau, Nathan LibyBen HansonNathan Cummings and John Barry combined for 29 points just in the hammer throw alone. Kaleikau won his first MIAA Championship, but Nathan Liby (199-5) and Ben Hanson (196-0) took second and third place. Nathan Cummings set a personal record, throwing 181-5 for sixth place and John Berry took seventh at 175-8. Cummings was the only Mules thrower to score in all three events. He placed sixth in the shot put, discus and hammer throw, and scored nine total points for UCM.
The men’s and women’s shot put and discus were contested on Saturday. In addition to Mahin winning his first career MIAA Championship, three other Mules scored top-eight finishes. Personal-bests from Dalton Lewallen at 55-7 and Nathan Cummings at 54-2 gave them fourth and six place finishes. John Berry threw 53-4.5 to finish eighth. Cummings and Mahin then went sixth and seventh in the discus, throwing 157-7 and 155-5, respectively.
On the women’s side, Amy Dorge was the only thrower. She made the podium in the hammer throw with a mark of 164-1. On Saturday, she had a fifth-place finish in the shot put, throwing 45-1.75 and placed 16th in the discus at 120-5.
While Swearingin took second in the javelin, Seitz came back from the decathlon to score another big point for UCM. He placed eighth in the event, throwing the spear 200-4. For the Jennies, Becker and Harris both threw another round of javelin after the heptathlon. Becker was ninth at 123-9 while Harris was 14th at 113-10.
Phillips and Kallenberger had the big jumps of the day in the pole vault, but Colton Bray scored an important five points for UCM, finishing in fourth place and tying a personal-best of 16-2.75 in the pole vault. Sam Hunt finished 11th clearing 14-11.
Kaylee VanBlarcum and Callie Ruffener placed 10th and 11th. VanBlarcum made it over the 12-0.75 bar and Ruffener jumped an outdoor personal-best 11-7, moving her into a tie for fifth all-time at UCM.
Cassidy and Jackson weren’t finished on Saturday after their heptathlon. They both took part in the open long jump. Jackson was eighth jumping 18-2.25 and Cassidy 10th at 18-1.5.
Two Mules scored in the long jump. Brent Alumbaugh took fifth place, jumping 23-6.25 and Brad Jenkins went 23-5.5 for seventh place, both personal-best marks.
In the high jump, three Jens scored with VanBuskirk’s 5-5.75 being the high mark for UCM in sixth place. Cassidy, Kallenberger and Haley Lindenbusch all cleared 5-3.75, but due to number of attempts, Kallenberger was seventh, Cassidy eighth, and Lindenbusch ninth. Ty Garretson was the only Mule to jump. He got over 6-2.25 and placed 12th.
Fuchs wasn’t the only one from UCM to score in the 800. Jacob Randle placed fourth, running 1:53.62.
Courtney Rogers just missed the finals, placing ninth running 2:19.46 for a personal-best. Maria Wendell ran 2:23.87 for 15th place and Morgan Van Harn went 2:30.12 for 20th place. Johnny Good set a personal record, running 2:00.23 and took 20th place.
Rogers then came back to run in the 1,500 where she took 10th with a new personal record of 4:53.97.
Day two ended with the 10,000 and some personal-bests. Nicole Svendsen powered her way to a 37:38.80, which puts her seventh all-time, and UCM and was sixth in the meet. Ben Sporleder placed 13th, running 32:09.33.
Svendsen also was the Jennies top finisher in the 5K. She ran a 19:24.20 to place 18th. Amy Marx was a spot behind her in 19th, running 19:41.06, and Yesenia Gomez ran 20:18.74.
The Mules 5K runners ran well and Ian Frazier came away with a top-10 finish in a loaded meet. He ran 15:32.38 for 10th place. Justin Howard was a spot behind him in 11th with a new personal record of 15:32.98, and Ty Hughes was 21st running 15:53.31.
Marx also ran the steeplechase and scored some points for the Jennies. She took seventh place, running a personal record of 11:32.92, which is eighth all-time at UCM. Riley Dovel competed in her first MIAA Championship at UCM and ran 12:45.10 to place 16th.
Next week, a handful of athletes will head to a last chance meet before entrants are selected for the NCAA National Championships at the end of the month.