Freshman Amber Jones runs the 4x400 m relay during the Ball State Challenge on April 15 at Briner Sports Comlex. Ball State finished fourth place. Terence K. Lightning Jr. // DN
RECAP: Ball State track & field compete at Ball State Challenge
Ball State track & field won two events when the team hosted its only outdoor meet of the season at the annual Ball State Challenge.
“It was a good day, any time we come out and beat some conference opponents," said head coach Brian Etelman. "Anything that we’ve won shows that we’re going to be ready in the next three or four weeks for the MAC meet.”
The dual meet consisted of the Cardinals seeing competition from other Mid-American Conference opponents Toledo, Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan.
Sophomore Peyton Stewart took the top spot in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.74, just beating out Butler's Jessica Harris who finished two hundredths of a second behind.
“When I got on the line, I said I wasn’t going to let anyone beat me at home," said Stewart. "This is where I practice every day. This is where I train every day. I wanted to defend that."
Stewart's career-best performance qualified her for the MAC Conference Outdoor Championship. Her time also ranks second in the MAC.
The nearly 20 mile per hour wind affected both long and short distance runners. During the 100-meter dash, the wind was at the runners' backs, giving them an extra push toward the finish line. However, during the longer events, such as the 1500-meter and 5000-meter runs, the wind made runners adjust their strategy.
Freshman Maritza Rodriguez finished a near 10 seconds better than the rest of the field in the 5000-meter dash with a time of 18:32.82.
Sophomore Regan Lewis recorded a jump of 1.76 meters in the finals of the women's high jump, which placed her in second place behind only Elizabeth Evans who posted a jump of 1.84 meters. However, Lewis finished with the best jump of any competitor connected to a school, as Evans was competing unattached.
Lewis said that while she is she is happy with her for performance she is ready for more.
"I want to get the next bar," said Lewis. "I’m really competitive, so I always want to get the next best thing."
The Cardinals also took top three finishes in the 800-meter dash, 4x100-meter dash, 100 and 400-meter hurdles and 3000-meter steeplechase.
Ball State will be back in action next weekend when it travels to the University of Illinois to compete in the Illinois Twilight.