Written and media by Mitchell Hooten.
The Greenville Men’s Track and Field Team competed to the best of their abilities this past weekend at the Jim Green Invitational at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois. Despite coming into this meet missing a few key team members, the men ended up finishing second with 83 points, behind Illinois College with 96 points. Finishing second in the 17-team invitational could be a good sign of things to come with the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCAA) Indoor National Championships just two weeks away on February 16 and 17 at Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio.
Two event areas of the men’s team gained over half of the points for the team. Between the throwers and the distance runners, the team gained 53 points with the throwers gaining 33 points and the distance runners gaining 20 points. The men’s throwers scored points in the shot put and the weight throws with the help of L.C. Washington, Mitchell Hooten, and Ben Perry. In the shot put, Washington placed second with a throw of 45′ 2″ and Hooten placed fourth with a throw of 43′ 10.5″. In the weight throw, Hooten took the top spot between the throwers, finishing in third place with a throw of 47′ 1″ while Washington took fourth place with a throw of 46′ 11″ and Perry finished fifth with a throw of 46′ 7″.
The distance runners scored most of their points in the 800-meter run and the mile run. In the 800-meter run, Nathan Potts scored points for the team by finishing first in the entire field of athletes with a time of 1:57.72 which also qualified him for the NCCAA Championships in the event. Also in the 800, Tyler Kimes ran a very good race, bringing his indoor personal best with a time of 2:02.99.
In the men’s mile John Mangold, Jaylen Shelton, Dylan Goodyear, and Noah Dir all ran very good races with Mangold running the fastest time. Mangold got second in the event after an exciting race with him leading the first seven laps until he was passed on the final lap to finish in second place with a time of 4:21.82. Shelton, Goodyear, and Dir all had indoor personal bests with Shelton running a time of 4:33.84, earning him seventh. Goodyear and Dir both ran indoor best times of 4:36.65 and 4:47.14, respectively.
Other notable performances from this past weekend came from the triple jump with Lucas Doiron and Erick Garcia. Doiron got third in the triple jump with a jump of 41′ 7.75″ while Garcia finished sixth with a jump of 40′ 0.5″, an indoor personal best for Garcia which also qualified him for the NCCAA Championships.
The final highlighted event for the men’s team was the Distance Medley Relay group which came in fifth with Dylon Niswonger, Alex Fink, Collin Kessinger, and Johnathon Goodenow running a time of 11:28.04.
The two athletes with arguably best performances in multiple events from this past weekend were Washington and Hooten with their performances in the shot put and the weight throw. Going into this meet, both Washington and Hooten had been working very hard on technical aspects of their events and, leaving this meet, they both were happy with how they threw.
Hooten felt pleased: “I was happy with how I performed at the meet, with how I placed, and with how my technique was feeling. The only thing that I wish was better was the distances of my throws, but that’s not a big deal for me at this point in the season. If there’s any time for me to hit my big throws it’s at Indoor Nationals.”
Washington stated “I was feeling good going into the meet, and I even told Coach Tom that I was feeling good. Then I ended up having a good day of throwing.”
Come cheer on your Greenville Men’s Track and Field Team in future events!