TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Illinois State surged into the women’s lead while the University of Northern Iowa men’s team charged into contention Saturday at the Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
After jumping into the lead after Friday’s opening day, UNI couldn’t quite match Illinois State’s firepower on day two and trails the Redbirds by 27 points with one day remaining.
The Panther men put together a big day and are just three points behind Indiana State.
Kassidy Sharp repeated as the conference outdoor high jump champion Saturday with a leap of 5 feet, 9 1/4 inches. Maria Gonzalez placed third and Chaley Rath seventh.
The UNI women’s team also had three placewinners in the heptathlon. Brooke Lorenz was fourth with a season-best 4,964 points, Lauren Frederick seventh and Erica Loussaert eighth.
The Panther men dominated in the shotput to fuel their climb up the leaderboard. Keegan Tritle took second with a mark of 59 feet, 11 1/4 inches, Isaac Holtz was third, Kyler Yodts fifth, Tom Yezek sixth and Darius King seventh.
Austin Heitland earned all-MVC honors with a runner-up finish in the decathlon. A stadium record in the decathlon 400 yesterday helped give him a personal best for the year with 6,955 points.
Chase Van Sant led a trio of long jumpers who scored points. His leap of 23 feet, 2.75 inches took third and earned him all-MVC honors. Bryce Newcomb took seventh, and Cade Kirkpatrick was eighth.
In the high jump, Xavior Williams cleared 6 feet, 10 1/4 inches to take fourth, and Cameron Catrall was seventh while Ben Ahlrichs and Alex Jackson were seventh and eighth, respectively, in the steeplechase.
UNI has 15 competitors competing in Sunday finals.
Evan Long, Bryce Newcomb, Sven Van den Bergh and Corey Hertz advanced in the 400, while Jacob Smith and JoJo Frost continue to be the favorites heading into the 400-meter hurdle finals.
Isaiah Trousil, Tayshaun Cooper and Matt Turcotte advanced in the 100, Connor Ham and Cole Phillips will compete in the 110-meter hurdles and Jordan Pingel advanced in the 800.
On the women’s side, Brette Correy and Lyndsie Schinkel are in the 800 final, and Maddie Bell will compete in the 400.