The Webster University men’s and women’s track teams traveled to Jacksonville, Ill., on Feb. 17 to participate in the Illinois College Alumni Classic. Webster athletes broke five different records at this event.
Freshman Kristen McDowell, Webster’s first female high-jumper, broke her own record in the high jump with a lead of 1.47 meters, which placed her seventh.
“It felt great to break my record,” McDowell said. “Just knowing that my jump this meet was better than the last meet. (It) shows I’m getting stronger and that my consistency is getting better. I can’t wait until outdoor season to see even more improvement in myself.”
Coach Dusty Lopez said McDowell still has plenty of room for improvement.
“She has still not quite reached her previous best from high school, but we are still early in the season and she is making progress and improving meet to meet,” Lopez said. “We are pretty happy with the way her season is going. She is still going to improve and everything.”
Sophomore Eroica Stackhouse also broke her personal record and the Webster record in the one-mile run with a time of 5 minutes, 49.58 seconds, which placed her seventh.
For the men, junior Daniel Henkey set a school record in the 1,000-meter run with a time of 2:48.87. Henkey finished in second place overall.
Freshman Zachary Zurfluh-Cunningham placed 10th in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.08 seconds, which set a school record. Freshman Jason Hickson placed second in the 3,000-meter run and set a Webster record with a time of 9:48.54.
Lopez was impressed with his teams’ improvement in their fourth meet of the season.
“We showed a lot of improvement from the beginning of the season,” Lopez said. “This is what we always are looking for, and so we were happy about that.”
Other notable performers for the women were sophomore Julie Greenough, who placed eighth out of 13 runners in the one-mile run. In the 1,000-meter run, freshman Kassandra Ochoa placed second. In the 3,000-meter run, sophomore Heather Heisse and junior Jane McKibben both finished in the top eight. Freshman Morgan Gray ran the 200-meter dash with a time of 34.71 seconds.
Notable performances for the men included junior Aaron Oberneufemann, who competed in the 400-meter dash and finished 10th out of 13 runners with a time of 54.82 seconds. Senior Tony Morales placed fifth in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 9:59.41.
Henkey said he was thrilled with his team’s success.
“We performed very well — a lot of personal records and quite a few school records were broken,” Henkey said. “It was a good end to the indoor season. Everyone is going in the right direction for outdoor track.”
Both teams’ next meet isn’t until March 17, when they will compete in the Rose-Hulman Early Bird Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind. For the next three to four weeks, both teams will have workouts. Right before spring break ends, the teams will practice together again.
“We’ll keep working to get physically better — we have some banged up players with injuries,” Lopez said. “So the time between competitions will be good because they can focus on rehab. For us, it’s valuable time to really focus on practice and getting better. Improvement is what we’re always looking for.”