The Knox College indoor track and field teams opened the 2012 season on Saturday Jan. 14 with the Knox College Invitational.
The meet, which went unscored as a result of three teams dropping out of the competition, saw the Prairie Fire take home 11 first place finishes against Iowa Wesleyan.
In what Co-Head Coach Jason Haynes called the most impressive start to a Knox season he has seen, spectators at T. Fleming Fieldhouse were treated to athletes already nearing career bests early in the season.
Sophomore Matt Brongo was just two seconds off his Knox career best time in the 800 meter run (2:02.89), while senior Kevin Box was one second off of the school record in the indoor mile (4:36.58).
As for the women, Haynes was impressed with the 4×200 relay team of junior Rayann Parkinson, senior Kristi Weller, sophomore Danielle Erikson and junior Sara Brown, which clocked an impressive time of 1:58.61. Haynes believes the foursome can contend for all-conference this season.
Other Knox winners included senior Emma Swanson in the women’s 800 meter and 1 mile run, freshman Catie McLaughlin in the women’s shot put and weight throw, sophomore Gabe Moreno in the men’s 3000 meter run and junior Tony Sickley in the men’s weight throw.
The teams head to Monmouth on Saturday, Jan. 21 to participate in the Midwest Invitational. The events begin at 10 a.m.
The Knox wrestling team competed at the Spartan Mat Classic, hosted by Manchester College (Ind.) on Saturday Jan. 14. Knox scored 25 points as a team and placed tenth overall.
Senior James Wagner went 4-2 in the tournament, and finished as the highest placing Knox competitor with the fifth place medal in the heavyweight division.
Other Knox wrestlers who won matches were senior Jason LaFavor and sophomores Eric Steingruber and Reynaldo Cardenas.
The University of the Cumberlands won the event with 195.5 points.
Knox resumes competition on Jan. 21 at the Wabash College Duals.
Both Knox College swim teams came up short against Monmouth College in dual meet on Saturday Jan. 14.
The Fighting Scots edged the Prairie Fire men’s team 123-76, while women’s team fells by just 12 points 131-119.
Seniors Bess Cooley, Tory Kassabaum and Tyler O’Neill all won at least two events to events for Knox, with Cooley leading the way via wins in the 100 meter breaststroke, 200 meter breaststroke and 400 meter medley. Kassabaum placed first in the 1,000-meter freestyle and the 200 meter backstroke, while O’Neill won the men’s 100 breaststroke and 100 butterfly races.
O’Neill was trailing Monmouth swimmer Josh Dunn until the final 25 meters of the butterfly, but overtook him with a push that resulted in the most exciting finish of the meet.
Senior Laura Blue also posted a win in the 500 meter freestyle.
The Prairie Fire takes part in the Eureka Invitational on Sat. Jan. 21 at Eureka College. Start time is 11 a.m.