OSKALOOSA — The Southwestern Community College track team traveled to the William Penn Statesmen Relays Thursday.
“We wanted to get a chance to compete before the Easter weekend and take advantage of the beautiful spring weather we have been having,” said Spartan head coach Bill Huntington. “A lot of our men and women are closing in on national qualifying marks and we want to get them into competitive meets to have a chance to hit the qualifying times.”
Ben Friederichs led the Spartan men with a victory and new personal best in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. He also finished third in the 1,500 meter run with a time of 4:29.10.
Aaron Ward and Gage Beers finished second and third respectively behind Friederichs in the steeplechase.
In the sprints, Justin Martin finished fifth in the 100 meter dash, crossing the line in 11.06. Marquis Flowers also scored points for the Spartans, placing seventh.
The 4x100 meter relay finished second behind Grand View University. Martin, Bobby Neal, John Rivan and Torian Parks clocked a time of 43.65.
“Each meet the 4x100 is getting closer to that qualifying mark,” Huntington said. “They have been working really hard and things have been clicking in practice.”
Former Nodaway Valley runner Jackson Shantz placed third in the 400 meter hurdles.
For the Spartan women, Kristin Klocksiem led the sprinters with a 27.84 in the 200 meter dash.
Huntington said the sprinters continued to be competitive in the heats and are improving each meet.
Rhecie Lee tied for first in the high jump, maxing out with the bar at 1.5 meters.
“We really loaded Rhecie up this meet with a lot of field events and sprints,” Huntington said. “She was a trooper and really competed hard.”
The Spartans will travel to Grand View University for their next competition April 26.
“This is crunch time for a lot of our events,” Huntington said. “Its been a successful season, but we don’t want it to be over at regionals.”