By: Mary Ringwald
After a conference championship and multiple All-American honorees in indoor track and field, the Knights switch gears to the outdoor season.
“Following their 2018 GLVC Indoor Championship and 22nd place finish at the 2018 National Indoor Championships, our women will seek their first Great Lakes Valley Conference outdoor championship and strong representation at the NCAA Championships,” head coach Jim Vargo said.
The team will be led by a gamut of talented seniors: Senior sprinter Megan Roby, senior middle-distance runner Sarah Schuster, senior sprinter Amanda Schnabel, senior multi-runner Bridgette Mangold and senior distance runner Erin Crone. Each runner came home with either first and second team All-American honors in the 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships in her respective races, along with junior high jumper Yashira Rhymer-Stuart and sophomore sprinter Ashley Reyna-Padilla.
In addition, sophomore Tori McKenzie will give the team points in short sprints, and Ally Kluender will provide team points with her throws.
“I’m looking forward to the overall performance of our team,” Roby said. “we had a great indoor season where everyone played a huge part in us winning conference. We are an even stronger outdoor team, so I am more confidence that we will hit the marks we need early, and compete hard for another conference championship.”
On the men’s side, the young Knights squad achieved their best point total at the 2018 GLVC Indoor Championships since 2012.
“The men scored in every running event from the 400m to the 5000m and in both relays at the 2018 Indoor GLVC Championships,” Vargo said. “We will need to improve upon the finishes in those events and in the other added outdoor events to move up in the GLVC team race.”
The team will be anchored by three-time All-American sophomore distance runner Chris Striegel and 2018 All-GLVC performers senior distance runner Joe Drabot and freshman high jumper Guy Williams.
The Knights also look to score points from junior jumping duo Alexie Robles and Bryan Cummings, senior weight thrower Dillion Pruett and sophomore Ben Stone in multi-events, hurdles and pole vault. They also look to senior Nathan Wilkey and freshman Logan Greco for points in the middle distances and juniors Aaron Gilcrease and CJ Canada in the short sprints.
Sophomore Brian Anderson said he is excited for what outdoor holds for his team.
“I’m looking forward to the competing with this team,” Anderson said. “We have a special team this year, and I can’t wait to see what we accomplish this season.”