When breaking someone else’s record there is sometimes an added bonus … the person is in the same competition. For Knox senior Kevin Box, not only was the person in the same building, he was on the team sideline cheering him on.
With teammate Gabe Moreno set to run a different heat in the men’s mile run, Box topped Moreno’s record in the event by clocking a time of 4:27.56 to finish sixth at the Titan Open in Bloomington, Ill. last Saturday.
The mark shattered the previous record time of 4:35.06, which Moreno set at last season’s Knox Invitational to top a record that had been held for seven years.
When asked about his solid form in recent weeks, Box noted the importance of having a good cross country season for the long distance runners.
“Our success from the cross country season has given the distance team a certain amount of momentum,” Box said. “[Last fall] we established Knox College as a serious contender in these events, and I’m excited to see that carry over. I know some conference teams will be planning to see strong performances from us, particularly in races like the Distance Medley relay.”
As for passing up his teammate Moreno, Box embraces the in-team completion.
“Competition among teammates is a healthy part of the sport,” Box said. “With another strong contender in the mile run, Moreno will be able to focus on the longer distance events, which is where he really shines.”
But Box also noted that it was not just the long distance runners that performed solidly.
“The distance team does not deserve all the credit, we have some very talented sprinters who are close to breaking records themselves,” he said.
One of the people in this category is senior Joe Puntoriero, who took third in the 200 meter sprint with a time of 22.99, just 12 seconds away from the school record. Puntoriero also registered points for the men’s team by finishing eighth in the long jump with a distance of 5.85 meters.
On the women’s side Knox had three point scorers, two of whom were in the 3000 meter run. Senior Brenna Degan took seventh in the event while Sophomore Huong Bui took eighth. Sophomore Catie McLaughlin notched points in both the weight throw and shot put, placing seventh and eighth in the respective events.
Overall the men finished tenth out of 12 teams while the women took sixth out of eight.
Knox continues their season with the Jim Green Classic hosted by Illinois College on Feb. 4.
The Knox College swim teams continued their dominance of head to head meets this season by sweeping Illinois College and Eureka College this past weekend. The Knox women’s squad defeated IC 85-35 and Eureka 99-12, while the men’s team beat their opponents, 62-44 and 71-18, respectively. Both team are now 5-1 in dual and triangular meets this winter, the only loss for each coming against Monmouth back in November.
Freshman Susannah Lodge-Rigal had one of the more impressive performances of the day, as she shaved 40 seconds from her previous best time to win the 1650 yard freestyle. Lodge-Rigal’s time of 19:53.41 ranks as the seventh fastest in the Midwest Conference, and she also won the 200 yard freestyle in addition to swimming a leg on two winning relay teams.
“For Susannah to drop over 40 seconds in the 1,650 was amazing,” coach Jonathan Powers said. “I was worried she had gone out too fast since her 500 split was faster than her best stand-alone 500 but she swam a remarkably consistent race and finished strong.”
The Prairie Fire had nine swimmers win at least one individual event and six win two or more. The teams also swept the 200 yard medley and freestyle relays.
On the men’s side senior Tyler O’Neill and junior Patrick Inness each won three events and were part of the two first place relays. O’Neill took first in the 100 breaststroke, the 200 backstroke and the 200 medley. Inness won the 200 freestyle, the 50 freestyle and the 100 freestyle.
For the women, three additional swimmers joined Lodge-Rigal in placing first in two individual events. Seniors Tory Kassabaum (100 yard backstroke and the 500 yard freestyle), Bess Cooley (200 yard breaststroke and 200 yard medley) and Anne Heberle (50 yard freestyle and the 100 yard butterfly) all took home multiple victories.
Single event winners were junior Zoey Kudla (200 backstroke) and freshman Colleen Shelly (100 freestyle) for the women and junior Alan Ning (100 butterfly).
“I’m really pleased with how people are swimming at this point in the season,” Powers said. “I really like the heart of this team. We finish races strong and always seem to win the close races.”
Powers is also happy to see production from a wide range of competitors.
“I’ve got a big group of seniors who I’ve relied on for the last couple of years, so it has been really exciting to see the younger swimmers step up and perform well,” he said.
The regular season comes to a conclusion on Feb. 4 with a dual meet at Beloit College. From there Knox will prepare for the Midwest Conference Championships, which is hosted by Lawrence University from Feb. 17 – Feb. 19.