UNI women lead MVC outdoor track & field championships - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UNI women lead MVC outdoor track & field championships

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It's shaping up to be a big weekend for the UNI women's track and field team. The Panthers already have a conference champion and have the early lead after the opening day of the Missouri Valley Conference outdoor championships.

TERRE HAUTE, Indiana - The University of Northern Iowa women's track and field team crowned its first individual champion and holds the team lead following day one of the 2018 Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Championships.

The UNI women posted 45.50 team points and hold a 17-point edge over second place Illinois State's 28.50 team total. The women had 10 competitors score team points on day one.

The UNI men are tied for third place with Drake with 16 team points. Indiana State holds the men's lead with 30 points and Southern Illinois is second with 24 points. The Panther men had four team members score points on Friday.

Panther junior Anna Bentley claimed the women's javelin crown with a season-best throw of 140'1". Bentley became the third female in Panther history to win an MVC title in the javelin. Paige Knodle (2013) and Donna Wheeler (1988, 1989) were the previous UNI women's champs in the javelin. Sophomore Brooke Lorenz took sixth-place honors in the javelin with a season-best toss of 123'7" to earn three team points for the Panthers.

The UNI women scored 17 points in hammer throw led by senior Sarah Pate's second-place showing. Pate recorded her best throw (202'7") on her final chance to wrap up eight second-place points. Junior Alanna Nietert (fourth - 190'7"), Junior Maddy O'Brien (sixth - 188'1") and junior Allison Griffin (eighth - 179'8") each scored points for the Panthers in the hammer.

A pair of freshmen helped the Panther women score 7.5 points in the pole vault. Lauren Beauchamp took third place in the women's pole vault with a season-best tying jump of 12'1.25". Fellow first-year pole vaulter Sam Fisher placed seventh with a personal-best jump of 11'7.25".

UNI put eight more team points on the board in the women's 10,000 meters. Freshman McKayla Cole covered the 10,000 meters in 36:31.85 to place third. Freshman Gabby Champion took seventh with a time of 37:36.33.

The Panther men tallied nine team points in the hammer throw. Senior Issac Holtz placed fourth with a toss of 184'11", while sophomore KylerYodts took fifth with a season-best heave of 175'4".

The UNI men picked up seven more points in the javelin with sophomore Darius King placing third and sophomore Cade Kirkpatrick taking eighth. King had a personal-best throw of 175'11", while  Kirkpatrick unleashed a personal record of 159'11". Kirkpatrick's previous best throw in the javelin this season came at the Gibson Invitational, where he recorded a mark of 144'0".

Junior Austin Heitland is in second place following day one of the decathlon. Heitland began the day with 870 points in the 100 meters. Heitlandadded 657 points in the long jump. He tallied 676 points in the shot put and 696 points in the high jump. Heitland won the 400 meters with a time of :49.14, which gave him 855 points. Heitland trails the decathlon leader James Brandenburg (Illinois State) by only 14 points.

Freshman Michael Santi posted 3,398 points and is in fifth place following day one of the decathlon.

Sophomore Brooke Lorenz is in fourth place following day one of the heptathlon with 2,985 points. She is 27 points out of third place and 99 points out of second. Lorenz tallied 860 points in the 100 hurdles, 747 points in the high jump, 538 points in the shot put and 840 points in the 200 meters. 

Freshman Erica Loussaert is in seventh place in the heptathlon with 2,922 points, while senior Lauren Frederick is eighth with 2,914 points following day one.

In the 1,500 meter preliminaries, junior Tiffany Christensen had the fifth-best qualifying time (4:46.08). The final of the women's 1,500 meters will take place Sunday at 1:10 p.m. (ET).

In the 200 meter prelims, junior Maddie Bell posted the seventh-best qualifying time with a season-best clocking of :24.13. Bell will run in the finals on Sunday at 2:55 p.m. (ET).

A trio of Panther men locked in spots for the 200 meter final on Sunday at 3 p.m. (ET). Freshman Isaiah Trousil, junior Matt Turcotte and freshman Tayshaun Cooper all qualified in the 200 meters. Trousil placed third on Friday with a time of :21.14 as he tied for the heat two win with Illinois State's Ben Montgomery. Turcotte ran the 200 in :21.50, while Cooper earned the eighth and final qualifying spot with a time of :21.35.

Competition will continue Saturday, day two of three, with the multi-events getting underway at 10:30 a.m. (ET). The field events will commence at 3 p.m. (ET) with the women's shot put and men's high jump. The track events will begin at 5 p.m. (ET) with the women's and men's hurdles.

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