Bluffton track and field showing improvement in 2011
February 1, 2011
By: Mallory Kemper, sports information intern
The 2011 Bluffton University men's and women's track teams will be led by third-year
Head Coach Gary Labonte. Labonte, who also directs the cross country program, will
have three assistants helping with this year's teams. Travis Lepley returns for his
eighth season as throws coach, while Dakel Vicks comes back for his third season as
jumps coach. Also returning is graduate assistant Jordan Hill who is in her second
year with the Beavers.
Although Bluffton will have a rebuilding year, Coach Labonte is, "Looking forward
to another season with a quality group of athletes. Our women's team is heading in
the right direction and we are making improvements."
Leading the men's team this year will be senior Michael Timpe (Swanton) who participates in jumps and sprints. The squad will also look to Andrew Chaffee (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston), the top distance returner, and Bryan Heckathorn (Hartville/Lake) who had the luxury of training with All-HCAC thrower Jason Fisher
the past two seasons. Timpe and his 4x100m relay team finished 5th at the Heartland
Conference Championships last year.
Also returning for the 2011 men's team will be junior sprinter Kevin Hickman (Centerburg). The sophomore class is represented by Chris Arnold (Fort Wayne, Ind. /Canterbury), distance; Jeremy Kidder (New Carlisle/Tecumseh), mid-distance; and Josh Fisher (Rockford/Parkway) who competes in sprints and jumps.
The men's team will also seek contributions from junior distance runner Seth Hertenstein (St. Marys/Memorial). Freshmen James Whitt (Lancaster/Berne Union), distance; Rich Underwood (Akron/East), throws; Josh Harbeck (Mansfield/Mansfield/Christian), distance; and Ronnell Armstrong (Bexley), sprints, give the Bluffton men five newcomers this season.
The women's team will count on more outstanding performances from top returner Megan Neal (Arlington), a junior who improved dramatically in throws last season. Neal placed
first in the hammer throw and third in the javelin at the 2010 HCAC championships.
Allison Trent (Orrville/Smithville) will also be returning for her junior campaign, joining Neal
in throws. Trent finished fourth place at the 2010 HCAC championships in the hammer
throw. Junior Heather Smith (Elkhart, Ind./Concord) will be participating in the distance events for the Beavers
Also competing on the women's team are sophomore distance runners Alison Janzen (Whitewater, Kansas/Remington) and Katy Heffner (Troy). The 2011 squad will have five freshmen. Lyndsay Darrow (Pioneer/North Central) will be running in the distance events. Brandi Dominique (Wauseon) will be specializing in mid-distance for her first year. Julie Court (Galion) concentrates on throwing, while teammates Lindsay Krohn (Marysville, Ind./New Washington) and Kayla Mullenhour (Delphos/Jefferson) will be competing in hurdles.
Both the men and women opened there indoor season on December 11 at Capital and will
continue to compete inside throughout the month of February. The teams will start
their outdoor competition March 19 at the Dick Small Invite on the campus of Defiance