Warriors Make Strides in Red Raider Open

– The Waldorf University men’s track and field team made strides during the two-day Red Raider Open, which concluded on Thursday. 

Sophomore Isaiah Craig won the triple jump, leaping to a distance of 12.73 meters (41 feet, 9.25 inches).

“Isaiah did well in triple jump despite having achy legs,” Waldorf interim head coach Kaylen White said.

Aaron Ward went the distance in the 5,000-meter run by earning fifth place with a time of 16 minutes, 8.58 seconds. The senior from State Center set a new outdoor school record in the event. Waldorf senior Nathan Meiners closed out the 5,000 in eighth (16:16.27). Senior Ovan Garcia raced to a time of 17:15.53 in the 5,000.

“Aaron, Nathan and Ovan ran competitively in the 5,000;” White said.

Senior Adam Brinkman ran to a time of 19:46.59 in the 5,000.

“Adam had a good split on his last lap with a fast finish,” White said.

Sophomore Jesse Vega debuted in the 10,000 by taking seventh (36:02.53) and topping his seed time by a minute.

Justin Jacobi locked up sixth in the decathlon with 4,933 points. The sophomore from Belle Plaine recorded a time of 12.15 seconds in the 100 portion to score 622 points. Jacobi turned in second during the long-jump portion, posting a distance of 6.01 meters (19 feet, 8.75 inches) to tally 589 points. His long-jump distance is Jacobi’s best performance in three career showings. Jacobi provided a 10.18-meter (33-foot-4.75-inch) throw in the shot-put portion to add 496 points. He claimed fourth in the high-jump portion, clearing a height of 1.71 meters (5 feet, 7.25 inches) to notch 552 points. Jacobi rounded out the first day of the decathlon by securing fourth (54.83) in the 400 portion to score 606 points.

“Justin had a great first day of the decathlon,” White said.

Jacobi kicked off the second day of the decathlon by taking first (15.78) in the 110-hurdles portion to record 758 points. He turned in a personal record (PR) during the discus portion with a distance of 26.11 meters (85 feet, 8 inches) to score 389 points. During the javelin portion, Jacobi posted a distance of 27.91 meters (91 feet, 7 inches) to add 270 points. Jacobi closed out the decathlon by capturing first (4:44.74) in the 1,500 portion to tally 651 points.

“The second day was mixed for Justin,” White said. “He was disappointed with a few events, but he also ran a couple of great performances in the 110 hurdles and the 1,500.”

Sophomore Mark Ahlers, junior Chasen Selsor, sophomore Jimmy Blankenship and senior Cassidy Warson fielded a 4×800 relay team that charged to a time of 8:35.83 for an outdoor school record. The Warriors received strong showings from each of the four legs in the relay.

“Mark started the team off with a fast split,” White said. “Jimmy ran considerably faster than last meet, Cassidy gave great effort with a strong finish, and Chasen finished out the relay with a good showing.”

Selsor powered to a five-second PR in the 800 with a time of 2:03.07. During the 1,500, Ahlers secured a time of 4:24.34, Garcia recorded a time of 4:40.62 and Blankenship ran to a time of 4:57.92. Selsor, Ahlers, Garcia and Blankenship ended the meet on a high note after putting together solid performances on the first day.

“Chasen [Selsor] got a huge PR in the 800, while Jimmy [Blankenship], Ovan [Garcia], and Mark [Ahlers] all ran strong 1500s,” White said. “They did really well despite also competing the day before. Jimmy’s improving more and more every week.”

Demetrius Baker earned a PR in the javelin with a distance of 36.12 meters (118 feet, 6 inches). The junior from Burlington contributed throws of 11.38 meters (37 feet, 4 inches) in the shot put and 39.40 meters (129 feet, 3 inches) in the hammer.

“Demetrius had a pretty good meet for throws,” White said. “He always gives strong performances.”

Freshmen Josh Sauren and Claudio da Cruz each made their first collegiate appearance in the 100 and sprinted to times of 12.32 seconds and 12.68 seconds, respectively.

“Claudio and Josh gave some good efforts in the 100,” White said.

Sauren improved his debut performance in the shot put with a 10.75-meter (35-foot-3.25-inch) throw.

Junior Jacob Pinedo represented the Warriors in the hammer, shot put and discus in his collegiate debut. He provided distances of 9.80 meters (32 feet, 2 inches) in the shot put and 29.72 meters (97 feet, 6 inches) in the discus.

“Jacob competed in hammer for the first time,” White said. “He has some experience throwing shot put and discus, but he’s only learned hammer in the past couple of weeks.”

Waldorf assistant coach Ashley Conway has made major contributions in the development of the Waldorf throws team.

“Coach Conway has been doing a great job coaching the throwers to learn new throws and techniques,” White said.

Ahlers raced to a time of 53.22 seconds in the 400.

“Mark [Ahlers] also ran the 400 for us,” White said. “He ran the first 200 of his race faster than he ran the 200 in our last meet, so that was fun to see that comparison.”

Senior Austin Anderson charged to times of 55.19 seconds in the 400 and 23.97 seconds in the 200.

“Austin ran a really strong 400 and followed it with an even better 200,” White said. “He ran the first part of his 400 the best I’ve seen from him, and then his legs locked up a bit coming into the home stretch. He really showed improvement this week and I believe he’s going to see even better times in the coming meets.”

The Warriors return to action on April 22 when they compete in the Dick Young Invitational, scheduled to start at 10 a.m. in Grinnell.

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