John Kean, Sports Information Director
INDIANAPOLIS – Missouri S&T’s men’s track & field team followed up a solid opening day at the Great Lakes Valley Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships with an equally good day Sunday, with the end result being its first indoor conference championship in 11 seasons.
The Miners scored 108 points in the two-day meet to finish 28 and one-half points in front of two-time defending champion Indianapolis and over 30 points in front of the next two pursuers, Southwest Baptist and Lewis. Head coach Shaun Meinecke was named as the GLVC’s Coach of the Year after guiding the Miners to the program’s second indoor title and sixth GLVC championship overall.
Buoyed by a win from Ezekiel Buck (Elburn, IL/Geneva) in the heptathlon to start the day, the Miners had 13 scoring efforts on the second day that included two additional second place finishes.
Buck won the multi-event competition with a NCAA provisional qualifying total of 4,774 points to win by over 300 points, capturing the first two events of the day as he had the best marks in the 60-meter hurdles of 8.87 seconds and cleared 14-11 in the pole vault. He capped the competition with the second-fastest time in the 1,000-meter run of 2:57.20.
The Miners had multiple scorers in three events Sunday. S&T had two in the shot put, where Nathan Swadley (Willard, MO/Willard)finished second with a throw of 53-6½ and Garrett Miller (Kearney, MO/Kearney) placed fifth at 50-10¼, the 800-meters as Alex Staples (River Forest, IL/Oak Park River Forest) posted a second place finish in 1:54.36 – just 0.15 behind Lewis’ John Partee – and Ethan Haller (Ballwin, MO/Marquette) took fifth in 1:57.69, as well as in the 60-meter hurdles, as Kyle Burke (Plainfield, IL/Plainfield)was fourth in 8.39 seconds and Jimmie Washington (Missouri City, TX/Dulles) finished sixth in 8.55 seconds.
The Miners finished the meet with a fourth place showing in the 4×400-meter relay as the team of Aaron Toben (Wildwood, MO/Lafayette), Dakota Doupe (Jones, OK/Jones), Haller and Staples posted a time of 3:27.94.
Aaron Jones (Kansas City, MO/Ruskin) had a fourth place showing in the triple jump with a mark of 46-7½ and Nick Janke (Rolla, MO/Rolla) finished fifth in the heptathlon with 4,284 points and would later finish fifth in the high jump as he cleared 6-4¾. The Miners also got scoring performances from Josh Hallum (Burnsville, MN/St. Thomas Academy), who was sixth in the 200-meters in 22.94 seconds and Toben, who finished seventh in the 400-meters with a time of 51.43 seconds.
S&T’s women’s team did not have a top-eight finisher on Sunday, with the highest finishes coming from Hannah Shearer in the mile, as she was ninth in 5:25.42 and the 4×400-meter relay team of Olivia Holmes, Laurana Mitchell, Anne Simpson and Danielle Wilson in 4:13.53. Annmarie Tyson finished 10th in the high jump as she cleared 5-0½ and Jessica Rhoads placed 12th in the shot put with a mark of 37-10¾.
Lewis captured the women’s team championship by a 13-point margin over Southwest Baptist.
The GLVC also announced the James R. Spalding Sportsmanship award winners for each school, with Staples and Tyson being the selections from Missouri S&T.