With only a few weeks left in the spring season, Knox’s outdoor track and field athletes are facing a lot of tough competition—including the weather. Last Saturday, Knox’s men’s and women’s teams finished in 11th place at the Illinois College Twilight.
Strong winds and unseasonably cold temperatures once again made things difficult for the Prairie Fire. Still, coach Dan Zierfuss was encouraged by his team’s performance.
“We had a lot of good performers—our throwers did an outstanding job,” Zierfuss said. “Our distance teams and sprinters ran well.”
Senior Chloe Bohm had a career day for Knox, recording a career-best time of 2:25.86 in the 800 meter run. Bohm’s performance was good for ninth in Knox’s all-time individual record book for the event.
Senior Claire Knowlton also starred, finishing fifth in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 17.1 seconds. Sophomore Lizzy Warner finished in seventh place in the 400 meter run. In the pole vault, junior Laura Johnson tied for sixth place.
Freshman Catie McLaughlin starred in the field events, finishing ninth in the discus throw, 12th in the hammer throw, ninth in the javelin throw and 14th in the shot put. All four performances were career bests for McLaughlin.
On the men’s side freshman Gabe Moreno finished third in the 5000 meter run with a time of 16:14.58. Freshman Bobby Mueller finished 12th in the 800 meter run, and freshman Matt Brongo finished 14th.
Despite the continued poor weather, coach Zierfuss was optimistic about the team’s attitude going forward.
“The weather’s definitely impacted our times, but I don’t think the team has really drifted off,” Zierfuss said. “They’ve chosen to make the best of it […] Our upper class leadership has definitely had a huge impact on our attitude. And we’ve got some very mature freshmen and sophomores who understand you can’t control everything every day.”
Knox’s outdoor track and field teams will travel next to Monmouth College for the final conference tune up, the Monmouth Invite, on Saturday morning. Events begin at 10 a.m.
Baseball drops four straight
After a sweep of Monmouth College on April 23, it looked as though Knox’s baseball team might have some momentum going into the final weeks of their season. But four straight losses against Illinois College (IC) and Augustana College have again stalled the Prairie Fire.
At IC (15-11, 3-5 MWC), Knox was up early in both games. In game one, Knox took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning. But the Blueboys rallied, scoring three in their half of the sixth and two more in the eighth, securing a 7-4 victory.
In game two, Knox jumped on the board with five runs in the first inning. Up 6-2 heading to the bottom of the sixth, Knox surrendered seven runs—four on a pinch-hit grand slam from IC junior Brandon Hott.
Against Augustana—who was nationally ranked earlier in the season—Knox struggled in the field, committing a combined seven errors in the two games. The Vikings (23-11) won the first game 12-5 and the second 8-1.
Knox will wrap up their season at home this Saturday in a doubleheader rematch against Illinois College. The first game will begin at 12 p.m., the second at 3 p.m.
On Wednesday night, Knox traveled to Decatur, Ill. for a doubleheader against Millikin University (5-28). For full coverage, check www.theknoxstudent.com.
Tennis’ struggles continue
In their final triangular against Midwest Conference foes Grinnell College and Monmouth College, Knox dropped matches to each school.
Against seven-time defending MWC champion Grinnell, Knox was thoroughly dominated, swept in each singles match and losing all the doubles matches.
Knox notched a single point against Monmouth, losing 8-1. Freshman no. 6 singles player Andrei Papancea won his match against Monmouth’s Tyler Lampe in three sets (6-4, 4-6, 10-8).
Knox will now head to the Midwest Conference Championships this Saturday and Sunday in Madison, Wis. Matches begin Saturday morning at 11 a.m.