2012 Track and Field
2012 Track and Field Preview
Bluffton track and field excited about first season with Coach Brandt
January 20, 2012
By: Martin Kluk, sports information intern
The 2012 Bluffton University men's and women's team will be led by first-year Head Coach Karen Brandt. Brandt, who also directed the cross-country program in the fall, will have four assistants aiding her with this year's squad. Travis Lepley is currently in his ninth season as the throws coach for Bluffton while Jordan Hill is entering her third year with the team. Coach Brandt will also have assistance from her husband Jim Brandt who accompanied her during her tenure at Bloomsburg University (Penn.) and also at Lower Dauphin High School (Hummelstown, Penn.) where they engineered tremendous success in both cross country and track & field. Also in her first year at Bluffton, Keri Hilty will be serving as the jumps coach.
Bluffton's opening track meet of the 2011-2012 season took place at the University of Findlay on Dec. 2-3 and two new school records were established. Senior Andy Chaffee ( Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) cut 11 seconds off the previous 3,000M mark set by Andy Schiefer in 2003 with an outstanding time of 9:37.87. Freshman Ryan Schadewald (Lima/Bath) also impressed the coaches by eclipsing the previous record in the 3,000M by one second.
Senior Megan Neal (Arlington) broke her own school record in the weight throw by 2.5 feet with a toss of 47-7.25". Neal is one of the top throwers in the conference especially in the weight and hammer throws. Last year, her personal record in the hammer throw placed her on the Division III national performance list. Expectations are high for Neal to continue her assault on the Bluffton record book in her final season with the Beavers.
Chaffee also looks to be a threat to establish more distance and middle distance school records and place high at the conference championships. Sophomore Kayla Mullenhour (Delphos/Jefferson) has the tools and work ethic to set school records in the hurdle events as well as making her mark at the conference meets.
Fellow sophomore Brandi Dominique (Wauseon) is coming off a stellar first cross country campaign and she has the ability to put up solid times in the 800M and the mile. Junior Maddie Moore (Linn Grove, Ind./South Adams), a two-sport standout who was an All-HCAC performer in soccer, has impressed the coaches in workouts and will likely be a factor in running events ranging from the 800M to 5000M.
Coming off a cross country season that saw the Bluffton men fashion a team score for the first time in four years while the women put together their best placement since 2005, Coach Brandt and her staff are ready to push the Beavers as they have their sights set on competing at the Heartland Conference championships and national qualifying events in April and May.