The Wheaton Men’s Track and Field team faced intense competition this Saturday at North Central’s Pat Heenan Track & Field Invitational. The Thunder showed strong performances and their hard work paid off with an overall fourth place. The North Central Track and Field team earned 236 points and took first place. Lewis scored second place with 97.5 points, Olivet Nazarene came in third with 97 points and Wheaton finished fourth, accumulating 59.5 points. University of Illinois-Chicago rounded out the top five with a total of 59 points.
Freshman Jonah Jones won the 3,000-meter run, crossing the finish line in a time of 8:47.65. Sophomore Logan Pinkerton took fourth place in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:58.80.
The Wheaton men also performed well in the meet’s sprint races. Senior Grayson McComb ran a time of 7.10 seconds in the 60-meter dash, a time which earned him a second place victory. Teammate and freshman Matthew Faber ran a time of 50.87 seconds in the 400-meter dash and took fourth place in the event. The Thunder’s 4×400-meter relay squad consisting of freshman Andrew Lauber, freshman Max Veth, junior Bradley Dowell and Pinkerton took second place in the event and posted a time of 3:22.50.
Senior Collin Gray continued his successful season with a win in the high jump. This week he reached 2.08 meters, just .02 meters away from the school record and his personal best.
Gray told us that the coaching staff and his previous years of track experience have been some major contributors to his success this season. He explained, “The great start to the season for me and the whole team is really a tribute to the coaching staff and the great job they do in planning our training in the offseason to prepare us for meets. Being new to the sport …coming into college, the three past seasons have been great experiences where I have learned a lot and they have prepared me to be successful this year.” He also focused on the value that the team gave his track experience: “The best part of being a member of the track team is that it truly feels like a family that goes well beyond sports. This has made a tremendous impact on my personal experience at Wheaton from a spiritual standpoint as well as an athletic standpoint. The track team has so many members that the best part of starting the season is getting to spend extended amounts of time with teammates at meets and build relationships as a result.” Gray concluded by adding, “Track is very much a sport where you are always in competition with yourself and becomes very easy to find your identity as an athlete in your performance. As a senior who has learned from struggling with this my goal now is always just to glorify God through giving full effort at every meet.”
The Men’s Thunder Track and Field team will compete again on Friday, Feb. 16, at the F. Lee Slick Invitational in Naperville, IL. After this weekend’s competition, the team will compete in the CCIW Conference meet and then move onto the indoor nationals meet, held in early March.