TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Behind three event wins and multiple all-conference performances, the Northern Iowa men’s track team claimed its second consecutive Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Track and Field championship Sunday.
Holding a slim 10 point lead over Illinois State after two days, the Panthers rolled to a 52-point win, finishing with 183.25 points as head coach Dave Paulsen won his second consecutive Coach of the Year award.
It was UNI’s ninth overall men’s outdoor championship, and the first time it has won back-to-back since it won three straight from 2007-09.
Claiming individual titles for the men Sunday were Isaac Holtz in the discus, Evan Long in the 400 and Connor Ham in the 110 hurdles.
Holtz’s winning throw went 179 feet and came one day after he took fifth in the shot put.
Long’s winning effort in the 400 was part of an effort that saw the Panthers take four of the top five spots. Long crossed the line in 46.99, while Connor Blough was second, Corey Hertz fourth and Bryce Newcomb fifth. Seven Van Den Bergh also scored in the event for UNI by finishing seventh.
Ham blazed to a time of 14.06 to win the 110 hurdles, while Cole Phillips was third in 14.32.
Other top performances for the UNI men came from Wal Khat who was third in the 1,500 (3:52.30). Carter Von Essen was third in the 400 hurdles (53.30), and Tayshaun Cooper was third in the 200 (21.67).
UNI also took second in the 4x100 in 41.02 (Ryan Van Baale, Cooper, Phillips and Eli Hicks) and its 4x400 team had a huge lead when Blough suffered an injury and had to pull up.
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The Panther women took fourth with Maddie McCalla defending her 400 title running a career-best, 54.39.
Other highlights for the women came from Lyndsie Schinkel, second in the 800 (2:08.84), and Katie Nimrod was third in the 400 hurdles (1:01.46). The women’s 4x400 team (Jasmine Blue, McCalla, Schinkel, Nimrod) took third, additionally.
UNI is now off until it heads to the NCAA West Regional which takes place May 23-25 in Sacramento, Calif.
HOW THEY FINISHED — 1. Northern Iowa 183 1/4, 2. Illinois State 131. 1/4, 3. Indiana State 129 1/4, 4. Southern Illinois 125 1/2, 5. Drake 87 1/4, 6. Loyola 74, 7. Bradley 80, 8. Valparaiso 11.5, 9. Evansville 6.
HOW THEY FINISHED — 1. Illinois State 191, 2. Southern Illinois 176, 3. Indiana State 132 1/2, 4. Northern Iowa 100 1/2, 5. Missouri State 75, 6. Loyola 70, 7. Drake 34, 8. Bradley 31, 9. Valparaiso 4.5, 10. Evansville 3.5