Redhawks prevail at home meet despite heavy rain
Southeast hosted the 2019 Drury Hotels Joey Haines Invitational on Friday and Saturday, March 29 and 30 and posted dominating performances amid harsh weather conditions.
The Southeast men won the 10-team meet with 143 points, while the Southeast women prevailed with 127.5 points.
The invitational showcased Ohio Valley Conference teams Belmont, Austin Peay and Murray State, along with non-conference teams from Milwaukee, Marquette, Memphis, Lipscomb and Western Illinois.
Saturday brought a weather delay, gusty winds and a steady rainfall to the Abe Stuber Track and Field Complex, however, the senior duo of Kaitlyn Shea and Anna Thomas, managed to finish 1-2, respectively, in the women’s 3,000 meter steeplechase event.
“I am just like, ‘OK, everyone in the race has the same elements as me, and I just have to be tougher than they are,’” Shea said.
She posted a winning time of 10 minutes and 56.53 seconds with followed by Thomas in second in 11:27.29.
“A lot of times it sucks when they delay and you’ve already started your warmup,” Thomas said. “We warm up at a certain time period before the race, so luckily we knew well before that so we could put off our warmup. You just got wet immediately, but honestly, we just told each other, ‘Well, we’re going to get wet eventually.’”
As seniors, Shea and Thomas were grateful for the many experiences track has given them.
“It’s been really, really good. I feel like distance running just like as a whole shows you all the other girls working so hard, and it makes you want to work hard,” Shea said. “It has taught me good work ethic, how to prepare, be organized and life skills.”
For Thomas, it is much more than a sport.
“We’re like a family. It’s been a family away from home,” Thomas said.
Junior Griffin Bailey earned a second- place finish in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:48:90.
In the men’s 1,500, sophomore Austin Perkins won in 4:12.43.
Junior Logan Blomquist captured first place in the men’s discus, with a distance of 48.64 feet.
In the men’s high jump, junior Titouan Sajous took first with a jump of 6-4.75.
Senior Haile Wilson, sophomore Bryce Pease, sophomore Colin Schwab and sophomore Kaylon Jenkins earned a second-place finish in the men’s 400-meter dash relay in 44.19.
Sophomore Danielle Mohrmann finished second in the women’s 1,500 in 4:52.72, and senior Rachael Hutchcraft took third in 4:54.23.
Mohrmann said nerves still surface for her sometimes, but she reminds herself of the preparation she has to get her through the events.
“I just think about all of the training and preparation I have done for it and there’s nothing really more I can do,” Mohrmann said. “I just tell myself I am prepared for it.”
Sophomore Kristen Carter placed second in the women’s 100-meter hurdles in 14.55.
Freshman Claire Morrill won the women’s 800-meter event in 2:22.86, followed by a second-place finish from Carli Knott in 2:26.44.
The Redhawks hope to maintain the momentum through May when they host the OVC Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
“Every time I think of it I get excited,” Bailey said. “It’s going to be nice to be at our home track, especially because it will be in the middle of May with hot weather. We’re going to have the advantage with our air-conditioned track house and we can go to the indoor track and warm up there.”
Southeast is down to six meets left before entering the conference. The track and field’s next meet is scheduled for April 5 and 6 in Terre Haute, Indiana, at the Gibson Invitational.