The Southwestern men's and women's indoor track and field teams competed Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7-8, at the first indoor meets of the season.
A small group of Spartans traveled to Buena Vista University in Storm Lake on Friday to compete in the BVU Early Bird meet. Highlighting the performances on the men's side Friday afternoon were a pair of event wins in the long jump and 200 meter dash by freshman Benjamin Aliel from Papua New Guinea. On the women's side, freshman Elenani Tinai, from Fiji, placed second in the high jump competition and first in the 60 meter dash with a near school record and current NJCAA leading time of 8.00 seconds.
"Because of class obligations, we were only able to bring seven of our athletes to the meet on Friday, but they did not disappoint with some really amazing performances," said Head Track and Field Coach Trey Bruton.
On Saturday, the Spartans traveled to Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Missouri, for the Mel Tjeerdsma Classic. This was the first meet ever hosted on the brand new 300 meter indoor facility, and the Spartan squad took full advantage of the new facility and good competition en route to breaking four school records.
On the men's side, freshman Cedrick Watson took down the 3,000 meter record, besting the previous record by almost 10 seconds, while freshman Evan Ouverson beat the 800 meter record by almost 2 seconds. On the women's side, freshman Elenani Tinai beat the 600 meter record by over 5 seconds and the quartet of Tinai, Danielle Costain, Heather Jessen, and BreAnn Rhodes narrowly edged out the 4x400 relay record by .02 seconds.
"This was a great weekend for our program, and shows just how special this season could be for our program. We weren't nearly at full strength this weekend but it was good to get some of our kids to a meet before we leave for break this year. I think it will help motivate us to continue to do our workouts over break and help us stay ready for when we get back to competition in January," summarized Coach Bruton.