Sophomore Jenny Howard of the Webster University women’s track and field team wasn’t too happy with her performance in the Titan Open at Illinois Wesleyan University on Jan. 26. Howard posted her time of 8.13 seconds in the 60-meter dash, placing her sixth out of 37 runners in the event.
However, Howard — who said she had been hampered earlier in the season with a stress fracture in her foot which she sustained over semester break — took the chance to redeem herself at the Jim Green Invitational hosted by Illinois College in Jacksonville, Ill., on Saturday, Feb. 2. Howard ran the 60-meter dash in a Webster-record 8.0 seconds and placed first among the eight who participated in the event.
The sophomore also ran the 200-meter dash and set a Webster indoor record with a time of 27.99 seconds, placing her fifth out of 21 participants.
“I was pretty happy, especially in the 60(-meter dash),” Howard said. “The 60 is probably my favorite race indoor. My first meet last week (Jan. 26) didn’t go very well. I did OK, but I wasn’t really happy with it. I was more happy that I ran a good time in the 60. Winning the meet in the 60 was an added bonus. The 200(-meter dash) — not my favorite race and I didn’t run it too well, but I guess it’s nice to break the record my first time running it this year.”
Junior Eroica Stackhouse placed seventh out of 24 runners in the one-mile run with a time of 5:44:07. Junior Julie Greenough also participated in the one-mile run, finishing four spots behind Stackhouse with a time of 5:53:82. Freshman Lauren Hoover also broke a Webster record in the 400-meter dash with a mark of 1:06:66, which placed her eighth out of 18 runners. In the high jump event, sophomore Kristen McDowell placed fourth out of nine participants with a score of 1.47 meters.
Howard said the women’s team — which finished ninth among 15 team — breaking the school records, even this early in the track and field season, displays how much the team has worked.
“I think it really speaks volumes about how hard we work,” Howard said. “We all work very, very hard in practice. Coach (Kelly) Parsley and our coaches push us really hard. Everyone really does give 110 percent. I think it just shows everybody how hard we work and how dedicated we are.”
The men’s track and field team also contributed to changing the Webster record books. On the men’s side, senior Daniel Henkey topped his own personal and school record in back-to-back weeks. Henkey set a time of 4:36:27 in the one-mile run to place him fifth out of 43 runners. Teammate sophomore Jason Hickson ended the event in 24th place with his time of 5:00:41.
Henkey attributes his success to the extra workload he’s put in.
“I’m very pleased with how I’m running,” Henkey said. “I’ve put in more training this winter than in past seasons. I feel it’s showing in my races. It also shows that we have a young team and a lot of these records are going to continue to be broken by me and our other runners.”
Senior Aaron Oberneufemann jumped 1.77 meters in the high jump to earn him fourth place out of nine participants. Freshman Charles Whitehead also broke a Webster record with his time of 2:06:59 in the 800-meter run. Whitehead finished 13th overall among 46 in the race.
The men’s team ended the day in 12th place overall out of 17 men’s teams.
Up next for the Gorloks is the DePauw Invitational at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 11 a.m. The meet is another indoor event.
Howard said if the teams continue their workouts and practices, the school records should keep falling.
“Everyone basically needs to be at practice, keep working hard like we normally do and really stay focused during the meet,” Howard said. “If everyone focuses on their race, I think we’ll do well and continue to break records.”
To see the complete results of the 2013 Jim Green Invitational, click here.