Nash Trumbly reporter
Pittsburg State University track teams won the 2023 MIAA Championship at home, rounding out the champion season. Even as the expected favorites of the event, the team exceeded expectations, and shattered their biggest record yet.
The Men’s team posted the highest point total in MIAA indoor championship history with a toal of 208.5, beating the previous record of 194 points set in 2001. Head Coach Kyle Rutledge led the team into the event, his third championship as a head coach at Pitt. When asked about their performance, he credited the team’s unity.
“The performance our men gave is just outstanding across the board, we knew we had a very talented group but what they did this weekend is just impressive, they were all more concerned with winning as a team and coming together,” Rutledge said.
And while the team’s performance turned heads, the gorilla’s individual dominance handed them their win. Stars like Cordell Tinch, a sophomore, blitzed through the competition, once again finishing first in the 60m hurdles with a time of 7.58.
“I had lost my passion for track and that’s the reason I took such a long break but being back and finding that love for the sport again has been something else,” Tinch said.
Tinch was named the D2 National Athlete of the Week a 3rd week in a row, solidifying his position at top.
Pitt also swept the podium for the 60m sprint, led by AJ Evans with a time of 6.70, and the 400m, led by Corey Lyons with a time of 46.62. Tinch and Evans shared the MIAA Men’s High Point Scorer awards, each scoring 21 points for their team.
On the field, sophomore Treyvon Ferguson won an MIAA title in his debut meet of the season in the triple jump. With a mark of 51-3, he even landed the 3rd best record on Pitt’s all time indoor list.
The Women’s team dominated the meet as well, scoring 183 points for a first-place finish, beating the closest competitor by over 50 points. Sophomore Sky Hagan finished second in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.34, rounding out an impressive indoor season as she heads to nationals.
“Last year I wasn’t even close to the times I’m hitting now but something in me this year really wanted to win, and I’m so proud of my performance,” Childress said.
With the season coming to end, the team is recovering and refocusing on the upcoming NCAA Division II Tournament.
“Our bigger goal is to be on the podium at the national meet, and hopefully we can be at the top spot. There a lot of teams that are really competitive so we are going to have to put some time into regrouping, refocusing and getting everyone healthy,” Ruteledge said.
With 26 gorillas qualifying, and the Pitt State men’s team ranked the number one prospect for meet, there are high hopes, and expectations, riding on the Gorillas performance.
The Pitt State track team will head to Virginia Beach for the NCAA Division 2 Indoor National Championships on March 10.