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McKenzie Penne, sophomore multis, falls into the sand while jumping in the long jump on Saturday, April 13. Within the Gorilla Classic meet the Gorillas got six victories and a few NCAA qualifying marks. Logan Wiley

Track and Field hosts 11th annual Gorilla Classic

The track and field teams hosted the 11th Annual David Suenram Gorilla Classic Saturday, April 13.  

Head coach Russ Jewett believes the teams did well.  

“I think overall (we did) fairly well,” Jewett said. “…Iwas kind of windy but cold… The whole team is not hitting on all cylinders yet neither women nor men (but) we still have some time to work that out. (We) had enough good performances (that) it felt like a pretty good week.”  

According to Jewett the teams remained positive throughout the meet despite harsh conditions. 

Well I think the attitude was good,” Jewett said. “In our sport, a lot of it is about trying to run faster, jump higher, throw farther than you have before. We wanted to get personal records. It seems like in our sport that is the conversation about every week. That was really hard to accomplish this weekend with the weather, but I did not hear any negative attitudes. We had a really positive attitude I thought and adjusted pretty well. We did not have a lot of mind-blowing performances probably because of the weather but the effort was really good I thought.”  

There were three individual victories on the men’s team. Junior Joshua Hudiburg in the javelin, senior Ian Duncan in the high jump, and senior Justice Burks in the 110-meter hurdles.  

 … Ian Duncan had a little bit of a minor break through,” Jewett said. “…He did better this weekend and won the high jump on the men’s side. I would say Colin Webber in the 800. (He) did not win it but he ran a really, really tough race and ran a good time considering (the) conditions… Justice Burks winning the 110 hurdles… Those are the key ones on the men’s side. Levi Wyrick threw right up there close to his personal best again in the hammer throw. I was really proud of him.”  

There were three individual victories on the women’s team as wellJunior Cassidy Westhoff in the 1500 meters, sophomore Nia Lunn in the 100 meters, and the 4×400 meter relay team of freshman Trace Mosby, sophomore Emerson Tice, freshman Madison Burt, and senior Courtney Nelson.  

“On the women’s side I would Say Nia Lunn had a really nice performance in the 100 meters,” Jewett said. “She won it and beat some girls that had beaten her previously… I was pleased with Cassidy Westhoff in the 1500 meters. She had been injured and coming back off injury she had a really aggressive race and won going away so I am really encouraged by her progress… Haven Lander again the pole vault, real close to her personal best. She is… jumping really high about every week and you cannot ask much more than that. Jena Black, another team captain who has performed consistently well especially in the shot put. She did not win but she was right there at her season best and it was not far off of her lifetime best. She did a great job. Those are the ones that come to mind.”  

The next competition is the Mule Relays in WarrensburgMissouri, Friday, April 19.  

Well this week we send our team to the Mule Relays in Warrensburg… and that is a chance for us to sort of preview the facility that is going to host the conference championship two weeks after that,” Jewett said. “That is one thing we are looking for is just getting our kids acclimated to that facility because it is a little different. If the weather is pretty good, we need some folks to qualify to nationals. You do that by jumping a height, running a timethrowing a distanceor whatever we have to get these marks to qualify to nationals and so we are looking for some of our top level folks to get weather so we can get some more qualifying performances to nationals.”  

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