by James Silberman
The Whitworth track and field team had another strong showing in the Sam Adams Classic last weekend, taking first place in three events over multiple Division I schools. A school record was also set by sophomore Dakota Kliamovich in the hammer throw, Saturday.
The relay team of junior Joe Green, junior Jon Williams, freshman John Marshall and sophomore anchor Alex Hardlund took first place in the 4×400 meter relay as Hardlund finished off the race in 3:30.12, beating Great Falls by more than five seconds.
Kliamovich blew her competition out of the water with a hammer throw of 177’9”. Kliamovich continued her rewriting of the Whitworth record books, improving upon her own Whitworth school record for the third week in a row.
“She is going to keep breaking it hopefully,” head coach Toby Schwarz said. “She’s just a sophomore and definitely has a lot more in her for the rest of this season and over the next couple of years.”
The Pirates’ only two entrants in the women’s pole vault, junior McAlister Buchanan and sophomore Kierstie Shellman, tied for first place each clearing 11’1.75”. They are now tied for the 19th ranking in Division III.
The Bucs also came in second in a number of competitions. Sophomore Liz Scott finished the women’s steeplechase in 13:03.48 and junior Christina Dobbins cleared the 5’1.75” bar in the women’s high jump. Freshman Lori Sandy cleared 10.98 meters in the women’s triple jump and sophomore Kerry Wright tossed a 148’1” in the women’s javelin throw. Senior Casey Monahan, crossed the 100-meter finish line in 11.17 seconds, as well as another second place finish and personal best in the 110-meter hurdles finishing in 14.93 seconds. Senior Keegan Shea who tossed the hammer 185’9” in the men’s hammer throw.
Shea’s mark also moved him into third place in the nation among Division III schools, but he has aspirations of doing even better.
“It was a season best and it keeps me up there in the national rankings,” Shea said. “But I am still a few meters off my personal best from last year, so it was bittersweet for me.”
Shea said his goals include helping the team win a fifth consecutive title and breaking the 60-meter mark to win a national championship individually.
More runner-ups include Green who cleared 15’9” in the men’s pole vault. Senior Jonathan Hoff leaped 22’3” in the men’s long jump, freshman Ryan Otterholt cleared 42’9.5” in the men’s triple jump and junior Matt Landon finished the men’s 400-meter dash in 51.51 seconds.
Landon was satisfied with his times despite having to battle more than just the competition.
“I feel pretty good about my time in the 400,” Landon said. “I’ve had a cold the last couple of days so I’m happy with that time considering I wasn’t feeling great.”
With the Northwest Conference Championships just a few weeks away, Landon has specific goals for the meet.
“As a team, we want to win conference and score 300 points,” Landon said. “Individually, my goal is to run under 11 seconds in the 100 [meter], and under 22 seconds in the 200 [meter].”
Among the Pirates’ third-place finishers were multiple relay teams including the men’s 4×100 A team consisting of freshman Boitu Nkonde, Monahan, freshman Elijah Varner and Hoff, crossed the finish line at the 42.4 second mark. The men’s 4×400 B team consisting of sophomore Westin Wiley, sophomore Grant McNeil, Varner and freshman anchor Lucas McGill crossed the finish line at the 3:41.53 mark, also good for a third-place finish.
Schwarz was pleased with his team’s performance and improvements.
“Against some really good competition our athletes stepped up and performed well. It’s always a process though,” Schwarz said. “If we went out the first meet and had the best performance of our lives, there would be no point.”