Taking second for the men and third for the women, Taylor Indoor Track and Field returned from the Crossroads League Championships with their feet on fire and heads held high.
The Trojans earned seven NAIA “A” standards, returned with three event champions, earned 19 All-Crossroads League Honors and broke one new program record during the two day event last Friday and Saturday.
The men were led by the versatility of sophomore Matthew Sakeuh who got second in the 60-meter hurdles, hitting the men’s sole NAIA “A” standard on Saturday, fourth in the 400-meter dash, seventh in the 200-meter dash and was part of the 4x400-meter dash team which took sixth.
“The meet was a blessing, this year has been pretty hard for me, with hurdles especially,” Sakeuh said. “With the hurdles that I ran I feel that I did well and was able to P.R. both days.”
Sakeuh ran in both the 60-meter dash and 60-meter hurdle on Saturday in the Findlay Open, with the hope of qualifying for nationals.
What seperated the Trojans this year from the past is their depth, as they earned points in 16 seperate events, many of which had multiple scorers.
Senior Josh Roth repeated as the event champion of the 3,000-meter for the second year in a row and came in first in the 5,000-meter, junior Daniel Gerber won the 1-mile, sophomore Samuel Sommers took second in the triple jump and sophomore Liam Hesting took fourth in shot put.
With one more meet on Saturday this is many of the Trojans’ last chance to qualify before nationals.
“I am just hoping that I can get that extra meter and qualify,” Hesting said.
Hesting threw 14.35 meters and will need to throw 15.25 meters to qualify for NAIA “B” standard.
Someone who has no worries about qualifying is freshman Brooke Studnicki who not only earned a NAIA “A” standard time for the 800-meter but broke the program record earning the TU athlete of the week along the way.
Studnicki was a human Swiss Army knife for the purple and gold as she ran distances across all stretches in the 4x400-meter, 800-meter and the Distance Medley Relay (DMR).
“How well we have done reflects the hard work we put in,” Studnicki said. “Our coaching staff is dedicated to us, as not only athletes, but as people and our culture contributing to our success.”
Studnicki was also part of the all-freshman team that took fifth in the 4x400-meter, also including Eden Siples, Audrey Altum and Jo’Deci Irby.
The women’s team placed third with 106 points, behind both Marian University and Indiana Wesleyan University.
The top performers include senior Sarah Robinson who raced her way to an “A” standard in the 60-meter hurdle. The 3,000-meter was dominated by junior Livy Schroder, placing second and senior Sarah Harden, placing fourth earning an “A” standard.
Both the men and women competed on Saturday for the final chance for runners to qualify for events.