Wheaton’s Men’s Track and Field team kicked off their outdoor season with an impressive third place finish at the Augustana College Viking Olympics meet. They scored 95 points and followed closely behind the University of Chicago who scored 108 points and Augustana who took first with 262 points.
Senior Colin Gray won first place in the high jump with a mark of 2.02 meters. This jump ranks Gray seventh in the national realm of Division III track and field events. Sophomore Stephen Mathew also competed in high jump and placed fifth with a leap of 1.80 meters. Senior Nathan Cruz took sixth place in the pole vault with a mark of 4.00 meters, and Bradley came in eighth with a vault of 3.85 meters. Sophomore Robert Smith placed seventh in the long jump with a leap of 5.88 meters and took eighth in the javelin, throwing 42.00 meters. Sophomore Michael Kitchen competed in the triple jump and placed eighth with an effort of 11.71 meters.
In the 4×400, relay squad freshman Andrew Lauber, junior Paul Amstutz, junior Bradley Dowell and sophomore Logan Pinkerton took second in a time of 2:23.38 which currently ranks them 19th in Division III. Wheaton’s second 4×400 team of freshman Peter Van Os, junior David Dischinger, junior Andrew Van Os and senior Jonathan Walker finished fifth in 3:32.16.
The Thunder men had a strong showing in the distance events on Thursday. In the 800-meter run, they took six of the top 11 spots in the race. Pinkerton took third in a time of 1:58.10, followed by Dischinger who finished fifth in 1:59.64. Andrew Van Os finished in 2:00.76 to take seventh place and senior Hudson Thomas placed eighth in 2:01.66. In the 3000m steeplechase, sophomore Seth Massot took second place in 9:50.46 as Wheaton’s top finisher. In the 5000m, freshman Jonah Jones took sixth place in 15:41.17.
Wheaton was also successful in the sprinting events. Sophomore Andy Margason took fourth place in the 110 hurdles with a time of 16.69, and placed eighth in the 400 hurdles in 59.06. Amstutz took sixth in the 200 with a time of 23.20 and in the 400, Dowell also had a sixth place finish with a time of 50.91.
The Men’s Track and Field team are excited about how the meet went on Thursday, especially since their first scheduled meet was canceled due to weather. Gray shared, “Despite the late arrival of warm weather this year, many individuals on both the men and women’s team had a good showing at the first outdoor meet and it was good to shake off the rust of not having competed in a few weeks. The weather for the meet was not ideal but after having last weeks’ meet cancelled, we as a team were just excited for a chance to get the outdoor season started.”
Looking forward, the Wheaton Men are excited for what’s to come in following weeks. Smith told us, “We defeated Carthage by just one point at indoor conference, a feat we haven’t accomplished for quite a few years, to take third place overall. Our goal is to repeat this accomplishment again this season while also qualifying multiple athletes to nationals.” He added, “Overall, I’m very excited about this season and future seasons with this team. The freshmen class in particular is loaded with talent and I hope that each one of them will stay the course that God has set for them.”
The Thunder looks forward to hosting their first meet this season next weekend at the McCully stadium. The Wheaton Invitational begins on Saturday, April 7 with field events starting at are 11 a.m. and running events at 12:30 p.m.