Drew Clark qualifies for Nationals in 800m and mile!
Eight Principia indoor track records have fallen so far this year as the men’s track team is led by junior Drew Clark, the first Principian to qualify for Nationals in over a decade.
Clark ran the fourth-fastest 800 meter in the country with his record time of 1:52.3. His mile time is 4:12.2, and he is 10th fastest in the country. Nationals will be held March 11 and 12 at Capital University in Bexley, Ohio.
“We have a lot of exciting young talent and some returning athletes providing essential leadership,” said Coach Chuck Wilcoxen. “It’s a great team atmosphere, with athletes working hard, having fun, and enjoying a lot of competitive success.”
Sophomore Jake Meier set the school record in the 400 meter run at 51.11. Freshman Wylie Mangelsdorf set school records in the 300 meter at 8:44.8 and in the 5000 meter at 15:42.9.
Of course, these three have also worked together to destroy all of the relay records, but the most impressive has to be the Distance Medley Relay (DMR). The team, consisting of Mangelsdorf, Meier, freshman Derrick Fleming, and anchored by Clark, took 16 seconds off to set the new record 10:13.81.
Sophomore Casey Powell ran the mile in a school record of 5:20.7 and continues to improve her time in every race she runs. She also broke the 800 meter record, clocking in at 2:24.1.
“These records were held by two of our former national qualifiers, Steph Hood and Rachael Richards, so it is quite an accomplishment,” said Wilcoxen. “What’s fun for me is sitting back and wondering just how fast Casey might run. There’s more there, and Casey enjoys the process of discovery.”
The 4×200 meter relay team also created a lot of excitement lately, setting the school record of 2:02.0 and surprising some other teams with close finishes. They were led off by freshman Hayley Cooke, who handed off to freshmen Julia Suber and Natasha Post and was anchored by sophomore Cristina Post, who had an incredible closing leg of 27.7 seconds in the last meet.
“Everybody seemed to be running their best and making personal bests or breaking records that day,” said Christina Post. “It was really special to be there and be a part of it.”
Senior Todd Zimmerman made his mark on Principia, setting all-time scoring and assist records and leading the team to one of its best records in years (8-15). He was also 25th in the country in scoring overall, averaging 23 points per game, and he led the SLIAC Conference with 54 total 3-pointers this season.
Coach David Patterson said that his contract was not renewed for next season. Recruiting for his replacement has begun. The core of returning players appear very strong for the future.
Seniors Will Crowley & Colin Clark will be missed!
At the Liberal Arts Championship in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, seniors Will Crowley and Colin Clark went out with a bang, helping set a new school record in the 200 free relay of 1:27.9 along with sophomores Andy Furbush and Tyler Loechner.
“I’m so grateful for such a smooth ending to my swimming career here,” said Clark. “It’s fun to reach up for that goal and get it. I’ve also grown a lot spiritually, and swimming with a Christian Science team has been a unique experience for me.”
Clark swam for 13 or 14 years and especially enjoyed competing on the collegiate level. Teammate Will Crowley also enjoyed his final year.
“This year was the most fun I’ve had in the four years swimming,” said Crowley. “There was a real sense of family and unity throughout the season. We’d all be there for each other.”
Crowley also shared his ideas for how swimming has affected his life and how he would use what he learned, even outside the pool.
“Swimming and setting goals for yourself prepares you for the rest of your life,” said Crowley. “We knew we would break the record we set last year in the 200 free relay, but it was fun!”
Most swimmers had their season’s best times as the women’s swim team also ended their season last week at the Liberal Arts Championship at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
“It really felt good as most everybody had their season or lifetime best times in their races,” said sophomore Makaela Thompson. “We really had a lot of fun and did our best. It was a blast!”
Senior team captain Kelsey Meidell had a lifetime best of 2:55.72 in the 200 breaststroke and swam best times in most of her events. Meidell is the only teammate graduating and will be sorely missed.