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Strong performances at CCIW men’s indoor track & field championships

March 1 2018
The Wheaton Men’s Track and Field team had a strong meet at the CCIW Indoor Track and Field Championships on Feb. 23-24. The men finished third place overall, marking the first time in school history the men have placed that high at the indoor conference meet. Overall, Wheaton scored 70 points to achieve their third place win. North Central won its second-consecutive indoor title with 240.5 points.
The 4000-meter distance medley relay team consisted of senior Hudson Thomas, junior Bradley Dowell, sophomore Logan Pinkerton and freshman Jonah Jones which won with a time of 10:25.34. In the 4×400 relay, the Thunder relay squad of freshman Andrew Lauber, sophomore Paul Amstutz, Dowell and Pinkerton took third place in a time of 3:25.20.
Collin Gray set a new meet record in the high jump with a leap of 2.08 meters. This record bested the 2016 record of 2.07 meters.
In the pole vault, junior Peter Bradley recorded a mark of 4.45 meters, placing second in the event. Senior Nathan Cruz vaulted 4.30 meters to come in tied for fifth, and junior Leif Van Grinsven tied for eighth with a height of 4.15 meters.
Sophomore Drew Smith and Joey Paolina represented the Thunder in the shot put. Smith finished sixth with a throw of 15.22 meters, and a toss of 14.16 meters gained Paolina seventh place.
Seth Massot and Simon Peterson placed fifth (15:10.87) and sixth (15:16.01), respectively, in the men’s 5000 meters, both contributing to Wheaton’s team total with their top-eight finishes. Pinkerton also placed in the 800-meter race with a time of 1:57.72, good for eighth place.
Robert Smith finished third overall in the heptathlon with 4,249 points. David Harris also placed for Wheaton in the heptathlon, finishing eighth with 2,917 points.
In the 55-meter hurdles, Van Grinsven took fourth in 8.08 seconds, followed by sophomore Andy Margason, who finished in a time of 8.10 seconds to place sixth.
In the 3000-meter event, Simon Peterson finished in 8:46.43 to place sixth, and Seth Massot placed eighth in 8:47.92. Seth Spykstra came in eighth in the one-mile, at a time of 4:24.10.
The team greatly enjoyed their last indoor meet all together since their next meet will wrap up the season at nationals. Coach Scott Bradley enthused, “We had a great weekend on both sides. It was a total team effort with a lot of people really coming through from all the event areas.” Senior Collin Gray also told the Record, “The Conference Championship meet is a great environment to compete in with a lot of energy because it is team focused more than any other the whole year. This makes us as athletes to do our absolute best for each other.” He added, “Going to nationals in Alabama next week will be a great experience. This year having past experience… I feel much more comfortable and believe that winning is a realistic possibility.”
Times from all over the country are still coming in, so the Wheaton Thunder is not sure exactly how many athletes they’ll be sending to NCAA DIII Nationals on March 9 and 10 in Birmingham, Ala. No matter who goes, the men’s track team will be preparing to jump into the outdoor track season later in March.

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