Following last week’s Knox Invite, co-head coach Dan Zierfuss was confident that senior Adam Kent would break his own school record in the hammer throw soon. It only took one week.
Kent led the Prairie Fire against stiff competition at the Lee Calhoun Invite at Western Illinois University. The senior from Lake Stevens, Wash. broke the previous record of 146’1” with a throw of 150’4”.
“I was excited to break the record,” Kent said. “I want to get to the 160’ mark by the end of the season.”
Kent’s throw moved him into third place in the Midwest Conference, and placed him 11th at the meet — ahead of athletes from Iowa, Marquette and Eastern Illinois.
“It was exciting to watch,” Zierfuss said. “He’s been working hard in practice this year and for him to put all the pieces together like that was great. He showed what he’s capable of and we know he can do better too. We’re excited about that.”
Facing some of the top talent in the Midwest, the Prairie Fire faced an unfamiliar challenge.
“Definitely a different type of atmosphere,” Zierfuss said. “Some of our student-athletes were a little wide-eyed when the competition started, but we settled down and performed well.”
Freshman Sara Brown took 10th in the women’s 100-meter dash. Her time of 12.82 was a full .7 seconds earlier than her showing at the previous week’s Knox Invite.
The women’s 4×400 meter relay team shaved seven seconds off their time in the Knox Invite. The team, consisting of juniors Claire Knowlton and Chloe Bohm, freshman Lizzy Warner and sophomore Laura Mills, placed 10th with a time of 4:22.78.
The men’s 4×400 team improved as well, taking four seconds off their time from the Knox Invite. Their four included freshmen Joe Puntoriero and Jake Swider-Rogers, sophomore Joe Kozlowicz and junior Courtney Jude.
While they did not place high in a loaded field, Zierfuss felt good about what the competition would do for his squad.
“Facing that top-flight competition can only make us better,” Zierfuss said. “Competing against great athletes is not a bad thing.”
On Saturday, the outdoor track and field team will travel to Grinnell College, located in Grinnell, Iowa, to compete in the Dick Young Classic.