Breezy conditions did not stop the Prairie Fire from kicking off the outdoor track season at last Saturday’s Knox Invite.
Knox competed against athletes from Ashford University, St. Ambrose University, Eureka College Quincy University, and Western Illinois University. Scores were not kept.
Head coach Dan Zierfuss felt good about the team’s performance.
“We definitely had a good start to the season,” Zierfuss said. “Wind was a bit of a factor in our times, but it was still a great starter meet for us.”
The women’s team was led by senior co-captain Claire Knowlton, who finished first in the 100 meter hurdles and fourth in the 100 and 200 meter dashes.
“Claire really had a great day,” Zierfuss said. “She ran great races and had a very solid time in the 4×100 relay.”
Other standouts for the women included senior Chloe Bohm, who finished third in the 400 meter dash with a time of 1:03.80. Junior Kristi Weller took second in the 100 meter dash and seventh in the 200 meter dash.
In field events, two Prairie Fire women landed on Knox’s all-time top ten individuals list in the hammer throw. Freshman Sophire Mwaura had a throw of 92’10”, placing her fifth on the list and sixth in the event. Freshman Catie McLaughlin had a throw of 91’6”, good for sixth on the list and seventh on Saturday. Sophomore Glyniss Boney finished fifth in the hammer throw, having already placed on the top ten list last season.
The men’s team was led by fresh faces. Junior Tanner Carlson—the starting point guard for Knox’s basketball team during the indoor track season—placed fifth in the 200 meter dash with a time of 22.9 seconds.
“It was Tanner’s first race in a long time,” Zierfuss said. “He had a great race, given the circumstances.”
Freshmen distance runners Matt Brongo and Gabe Moreno also stood out. Brongo finished first in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:03.32. Moreno took second in the 5000 meter run with a time of 16:21.05.
Four Knox throwers, freshmen Tim Worrell and Weston Chenoweth, and sophomores Dan Johnson and Paul Lebryk, added their names to the all-time top ten individuals list on the men’s side. Worrell led the group, finishing ninth with a throw of 111’5”.
The men’s field team was without junior co-captain Tony Sickley, who is recovering from an injury.
For coach Zierfuss, the size of the meet provided a good opportunity for Knox to get acclimated with the conditions of the outdoor season.
“I wanted us to get our feet wet for outdoor,” Zierfuss said. “But I think now we’re ready for some pretty big competition—which we’ll get this weekend at Western Illinois.”
The Prairie Fire will next travel to Macomb, Ill. for the Lee Calhoun Invite, hosted by Western Illinois University. Events begin at 10 a.m.