’Cats race to victories in first track meet

Mickayla-Bay Washington and Kaelia Neal

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As expected our Wildcats showed up and showed out at the annual Linfield Erik Anderson Memorial Icebreaker.

The invitational started with the 10,000-meters on Friday, March 4 and continued with the rest of the events on Saturday March 5.

On the women’s side, Emma Knudson finished seventh place among 20 runners in a time of 39 minutes, 55.88 seconds and was the top Wildcat finisher in the 10k.

“My race went really well. I’ve always loved the atmosphere of the Icebreaker 10k. Having that support really pushed me through when my race got difficult,” Knudson said.

Courtney Beard finished 10th in 40:50.71 and Sarah Rasmussen-Rehkopf finished 15th in 41:45.30.

All three women qualified for the conference meet, which will be on April 23 and 24 at Lewis and Clark.

Chris Roth led Linfield in the 10k with a time of 33:46.11 finishing 29th among 48 competitors. Chris Poole followed, placing 37th in 34:13.47 with Adrian Clifford close behind in 38th place in a time of 34:17.78.

Roth, Poole and Clifford all qualified for the conference meet. Freshman Calvin Ong placed 46th in his 10k debut in a time of 35:48.68.

The ’Cats started Saturday on the right foot by winning both the men’s and women’s 4X100-meter relay.

The women, who consisted of Dallas Edge, Madison Gladding, Brenna Gomez and Jade Everage, edged out runner-up Corban University by finishing in a time of 49.22 seconds. Their time ties for seventh on Linfield’s All-Time Top 10 Records.

The men’s team, Kane Kennedy, Jake Mihelich, Ryan Orlandini and Spencer Payne, beat the second place finisher, Pacific, by almost a full second with a time of 42.68.

Edge and Mihelich both performed exceptionally well as the anchors for the teams.

Edge also continued on to place first in both the women’s 100m dash and the 100m hurdles in 12.64 and 14.95.

Gladding, who also helped the ’Cats with the relay win, finished fourth in the women’s 100m in a time of 12.94.

Mihelich snatched the 200m in a time of 21.44, which ties his personal best in that race.

It was no surprise the 2015 national champion easily won the 400m dash by a over second. The exceptional time of 47.03 is a new personal record for Mihelich.

Mihelich said he “felt good about the performances yesterday” but he wanted to finally run 46 seconds in the 400m.

This coming weekend, Mihelich leaves to Grinell, Iowa for indoor nationals.

“Right now there is nothing else I can do to get faster before nationals. I just need to make sure I’m rested and ready to go,” Mihelich said.

“I have a strategy for both prelims and finals, so I am feeling confident. And obviously I want to win it all,” he said.

Kane Kennedy also ran well as he placed in the top-five in the men’s 200m with a time of 22.41.

Manuel Finley easily won his heat of the men’s 1500m run in a time of 4:04.74, which is over 15 seconds faster than the last 1500m he ran. He placed fourth overall in the 1500m.

Kaelia Neal also ran well in the 1500m by finishing fifth place overall in a time of 4:53.65.

Olivia Bannerot took the field placing second in the high jump at 1.53m and third in the long jump at 5.15m.

JC Grim also competed well in the long jump, high jump and javelin as he had top-eight finishes in the events. But his performance in the men’s long jump was the most notable as he placed second with a mark of 6.81m.

Olivia McDaniel had a top performance in the pole vault as she tied for second place with a height of 3.28m. Hayden Davisson competed well for Linfield in the pole vault as well by placing fifth with a height of 4.08m.

Rachael Gernhart was another top performer for Linfield as she placed fourth in the women’s triple jump with a mark of 10.63m

On the other side of the field Jeff Lieder put in a major effort, launching his shot put 14.15m, which turned into his first place ranking in the event.

“I felt really good about my performance. All the work in practice paid off,” Lieder said.

The meet has the ’Cats looking toward the rest of the season.

“Overall, I’d say the meet went well and we are all feeling ready to tackle our goals and finish out the season strong,” Knudson said.