Tritons race to another indoor team title

Tritons race to another indoor team title

The Iowa Central track and field team added to their storied history, earning gold and silver team honors  Saturday at the NJCAA Indoor Championships.

The Triton men repeated, finishing ahead of Barton County for the second consecutive season. South Plains, New Mexico and Cloud County rounded out the Top-5.

"I am extremely proud of how our men and women competed," Iowa Central head coach Jordan Burkholder said. "We knew it would be a battle for both teams to bring home a trophy, and our students showed up ready to compete."

It was a balanced effort for Iowa Central led by Kelvin Bungei and Courtney Lindsey.

Bungei finished with four Top-5s in the distance events, with Lindsey placing second in his two speed races.

Along with runner-up honors in the 1000, Bungei was third in the 5000, fourth in the 3000 and fifth in the mile.
Lindsey placed second in the 60 and added silver in the 200.

Pur Biel and Harry Afaxoe scored points with third place finishes. Biel won bronze in the 1000 and Afaxoe the same in the triple jump.

Awet Yohannes was fourth in the mile and sixth in the 3000, while Michael Williams-Davis finished off the field events with fifth place honors in both the weight throw and shot put.

"This means a lot to us because everyone did their part to defend our indoor national championship," Yohannes said. "I am in way better shape than last year and my goals were to defend our distance medley relay title, defend my 3K title and win the mile. I have been struggling with some side stomach issues this season, which has affected me a lot in my races.

"I knew I had to do what I could for us to win the team title. It was great to repeat with the sophomore class, but I was happy we got to experience this one with the current freshmen too."

Also finishing fifth were David Dunlap (200), Lee Eppie (400) and Milos Pendic (3000). Pendic was seventh in the mile, with Qadiir Wajd placing seventh and Jaheem Hayles eighth in the 60 hurdles.

On Friday, Iowa Central captured the distance medley relay, adding a sixth in the 4x400 and an eighth in the 4x800.

Iowa Central was unable to catch New Mexico, as they won with 160 points in the women's race. The Tritons finished with 115 followed by South Plains, Barton and Cloud.

"Our students set the energy level day one and kept it up the entire weekend," Burkholder said. "We started the season with very high expectations for both and they've done a great job staying focused on their goals and trusting the plan their coaches have had for them.

"The hard work our men and women have been putting in since our first practice paid off for them this weekend and I'm excited to see what they can accomplish as we transition into outdoor."

Lea Grady led the way, as she won both the weight throw and shot put. Grady has dominated the events this year, including a meet record in the weight throw.

Lilian Busienei had three Top-7s, earning fourth in the 5000, sixth in the 3000 and seventh in the mile. Florance Uwajeneza was third in both the mile and 3000, with Elenora Curtabbi placing second in the 3000 and fourth in the mile.

Hannah Connell gave Iowa Central points in the short events, taking silver in the 60 hurdles and eighth in the 60.

The distance medley relay was second, with both the 4x400 and 4x800 relays placing fourth. Ashley Micheaux placed third in the weight throw and sixth in the shot put; Madison Johnson was fourth in the high jump; and Rosalie Fish was seventh in the 1000.