Beavers Tune-Up At Anderson
by Nate Smith
March 31, 2003
On a chilly weekend to end the month of March, the Bluffton track and field squads did a little fine tuning before heading into their final month of the regular season. Many athletes used the four-team invitational to either hone specific aspects of their main events, or to rest weary bodies after a heavy travel month.
Bluffton picked up three individual titles on the women's side, all three courtesy of freshmen. Rita Muether continued her dominance in the sprints with victories in the 100 and 200 meters, as the Beavers swept the top three spots in both events. Freshman Marquita Miller and sophomore Jana Hammer also finished ahead of all opponents from other schools, showing Bluffton's strength in the women's sprints. The other individual title was captured by Stephanie Welch in the high jump. Welch later recorded a personal-best time of 2:31.6 in the 800 meters to complete a successful day. Another top effort on the track belonged to freshman Lauren Borga, who placed in the 1500 meters with a time of 5:33.0.
Joining Welch in the high jump was freshman Kirstie Dravenstott, who helped the Beavers complete a 1-2 finish in that event. Also aiding Bluffton's effort in the field events was sophomore Michele Bailey, who placed second in the discus with a toss of 120' 9".
Bluffton's men saw strong cold-weather performances in the sprints as well, with the sprint core of Ryan Nusbaum, Ben Dodds, and Al Pearson performing strong in their top events. Nusbaum continued his strong early-season runs with a close second-place finish in the 100 meters, in a time of 11.33. Dodds finished fourth in an overall close race with a season-best time of 11.50. Pearson, meanwhile, appeared to be fully recovered from a calf strain with a personal-best time of 23.48 in the 200 meters, placing second in that event. Those three joined sophomore Jason Lehman on the 400 meter relay, placing second in 43.5, the best time in recent years for Bluffton. Rounding out the strong performances on the track were freshmen Dan Rosebrock and Floyd Ward. Rosebrock placed in the 1500 meters with a personal-best time of 4:18.6, while Ward finished third in the 800 meters in a personal-best time of 2:02.7.
Bluffton's performances in the field events were led once again by sophomore pole vaulter Fred Yoder and senior thrower Travis Lepley. Yoder placed second in the pole vault with a clearance of 12' 6", while Lepley had an overall strong day, establishing a new personal-best in the hammer throw at 118' 1", and a season-best in the shotput at 40' 8.75". Freshman Jeremy King also claimed a second-place finish for Bluffton in the high jump at six feet, and freshman Kevin Bicker led the Beavers' discus throwers with a best throw of 103' 6".
Bluffton returns to action in Salzman Stadium on Friday, April 4, when they host a USTCA Collegiate Series Meet featuring Tiffin and Heidelberg. The action starts in the field events at 3 p.m. and in the running events at 3:30 p.m.