Not even the second, third and fourth place teams combined were good enough to beat the No. 1 ranked Wartburg women’s track and field team at the Iowa Conference Championships over the weekend. The Knights took home their 13th straight IIAC title with a total team score of 353, destroying the previous record of 279.5 set by Wartburg in 2008.
“Obviously it’s a great accomplishment in terms of breaking the record that was already shared by a group of alums. It says a lot about the tradition that’s been put in place,” head coach Marcus Newsom said.
Second-place, No. 24 Central was more than 200 points behind with 116.5. The Dutch, combined with third-place Loras and fourth-place Luther, managed a total of 343, falling short of the Knights mark. Skye Morrison led the charge for Wartburg with championships in the 100 meter dash (12.12), long jump (21-03 1/2) and triple jump (41-02 1/2) as well as earning runner-up honors in the 200 meter dash (24.38), which her sister Nevada (24.10) won.
Freshman Alana Enabnit earned the title of conference champion in both the 5000 meter (17:06) and 10,000 meter (36:22) runs.
“As a freshman, she’s starting that tradition that alums have set before her,” Newsom said.
Other individual Wartburg champions included Sammi Bruett in the steeplechase and Sarah Hoffman in the discus. Faith Burt won the 400 meter dash while Tashina McAllister won the 400 meter hurdles. Three relay teams also won championships for the Knights including the 4×100 team of Burt, Boraas and the Morrisons (46.93).
The 4×400 team of Kayla Kregel, Rachael Cheeseman, Sam Salow and Kendra Kregel (3:51.44) and the 4×800 team of Salow, Karly Cochrane and Kristin Canning (9:20.01) also took home top honors. The men’s team fell 33 points short of ending No. 15 Central’s run of three straight Iowa Conference Championships, finishing with 208 points to the Dutch’s 241.
“I am very, very proud of our men. We really felt like we had a great opportunity and I think our opponent, Central, felt that Wartburg was gonna give them a run and we were able to do that,” Newsom said.
Five Knights won individual championships including two running events. Larry Johnson won the 110 meter hurdles (14.59) and Mike Koehler won the 400 meter hurdles (54.28). Wartburg also won three field events including Tim Flores in the pole vault (15-01), Jonas Elusme in the long jump (25-03 1/2) and Dominique Neloms in the high jump (6-09 3/4).
The men also had six runners-up and two third-place finishers including Elusme taking second in both the high jump and triple jump.
“When you can do it in the throws, the jumps, the sprints, the hurdles and the distance races you have to feel good about that as a head coach,” Newsom said.
The track teams will compete in various NCAA qualifiers on Thursday and Fridayincluding at UW-La Crosse, North Central and in Rock Island, Ill. Qualifying Knights will then compete at the NCAA Championships in Claremont, Calif. from May 24-26.
NATHAN FORD SPORTS EDITOR