OTTUMWA — The Indian Hills women set a new school record in the 4x400 relay while the Warrior men’s track and field squad won the team title this past weekend, defeating 11 other schools including seven NCAA DIvision II programs at the Mark Schuck Multi and Open hosted by Minnesota State University.
“This was our best overall meet of the year. Almost every single athlete set a personal best or season best,” Indian Hills head track and field coach Brent Ewing said. “With it being a 200-meter flat track, several of our athletes were able to improve their position in the individual national rankins due to the time conversion they got. February is typically when we start to see the pieces of the puzzle come together.”
Leading the way for the Warrior men was freshman Floyd Pond, who won the 60 meters in 6.9 seconds and the 200 meters in 22.47. Jasean White was runner-up in the long jump, reaching 22 feet and 6.5 inches, while Kendall Banks-Price took second in the high jump clearing 6-5.5.
Elijah Berry, Kohner Butts and Aytonn Bar-Shimon all placed in the top seven of the 800 meter run. Bar-Shimon became the third Warrior 800 meter runner to hit the national qualifying mark with his seventh-place time of 1:59.36.
Berry, ranked seventh in the country in the 800, finished second in Minnesota running 1:55.4. Butts, 11th ranked in the country, placed third for IHCC in the 800 in 1:57.41.
Chris Hudnall tied the school record in the 60 meter hurdles, taking third overall in 8.26 seconds. Indian Hills dominated in the men’s 200 meter dash with Pond’s win, a third-place run by Herman Chongwain (22.8), a fourth-place finish from Jarvis Barber (22.81), a fifth-place time for Torian Kingston (22.82) and a seventh-place showing by Brandon Snowden (23.08).
“Floyd had a banner day, winning those two events. Aytonn got the job done and qualified for nationals in the 800 meters. Berry and Butts ran very aggressively in the 800 as well. Our jumps crew got us some big points with Jasean White in the long jump and Kendall Banks-Price in the high jump,” Ewing said. “Most meets aren’t scored, so being able to take advantage of the opportunity to win a scored meet was really big for our program.
“We’re inherently greedy as coaches. Rarely do we walk away from a meet feeling this satisfied.”
The 4x400 meter relay team of Melanie Hall, I’Reiona Lightsey, Kylar Brown and Jocelynn Crowell demolished the school record while winning the event to highlight the meet for the Indian Hills women’s track and field program. The time of 4:00.97 easily bettered the previous school mark of 4:05.5 and was the unit’s best time for the indoor season by nearly seven seconds.
The time converts to 3:57.77, ranking the Warrior squad seventh in the NJCAA. The win was part of a meet in which IHCC set six all-time top-five program marks.
“For weeks, we’ve been talking about qualifying that 4x4 team,” Ewing said. “They have a lot of energy, and we just needed to bring that energy and aggressiveness to the competition.
“The energy that our entire team had during the 4x400 relay was palpable. That building was rocking. I will never forget that race. To see the entire squad celebrate after the relay pulled away in the last few meters to win really speaks to the sense of family that our program has.”