Harmon, Davis lead track to IWU champions

| Sports Editor

At the Illinois Wesleyan University Bob Keck Invitational, junior Ben Harmon and sophomore Dan Davis made important steps toward NCAA indoor track and field national competition.

“The team overall did really well, we had a lot of national qualifiers that stepped up this week…As a whole the team is starting to come together really nicely, people are starting to find the groove of the competition,” junior Ben Harmon said.

En route to a first-place team finish, Harmon took second in the pentathlon and achieved an NCAA Division III indoor championship automatic qualifying time. He was runner-up in three of the five events. While he was dissatisfied with his performance in the hurdles, long jump and shot put, he improved for the last two events.

“Being a multi-event you can’t let one, two or three not so great performances hold you back…I came back for the high jump and set a PR with 2.01…[in the run] we hit the automatic qualifying on the head, it was exciting,” Harmon said.

Davis set a Washington University record with a time of 7.59 seconds in the 55-meter hurdles. That time currently ranks third among all Division III times for the season. This is the third time for the season that Davis has run an NCAA provisional time for the event.

The Bears scored 76 points over 17 events to claim the top spot for the weekend. Carthage College finished 6.5 points behind for second and Monmouth College rounded out the top three. The Bears had several other athletes place in the top three in their events. Junior Dave Spandorfer won the mile in 4:17.55, 1.55 seconds from a provisional time for that event. Seniors Chris Malaya and Alex Bearden took third in the 400-meter dash and 3,000 meter run, respectively. Sophomore Tyler Jackson was third behind Davis in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 7.87 seconds.

The women’s squad struggled in Friday and Saturday’s events, scoring only 25 points to take seventh overall. Junior Jessica Londeree claimed the runner-up spot in the 3,000-meter run in 10:37.50. Sophomore Kaite Hered cleared 3.25 meters in the pole vault for a personal season best and third place. The host Titans won the meet with 125 points.

Both the men’s and women’s squads will be back in action on Saturday, Feb. 13, in Monmouth, Ill., for the Monmouth Fighting Scots Invitational.