Cardinals shine in dreary outdoor debut
This weekend, Ball State track and field traveled to Butler for the Stan Lyons Invitational. The team knew it was going to be competing in its first outdoor meet of the season, but what it didn’t know was that it would be competing in cold, rainy and windy conditions.
Despite all of the obstacles thrown at the team, the Cardinals scored nine dual wins and eight event wins to go along with 18 career-best performances and 20 top-five finishes.
Head coach Brian Etelman was not expecting much from the team since it was its first meet back, but they delivered, and he was happy with the outcome.
Notable Ball State Finishes
“I was really proud of how we competed in the weather. The conditions were terrible, but we did a good job accepting the situation for what it was and creating the outcome we wanted on our own,” Etelman said. “We talked about the meet being a metaphor for life a bit. The circumstances we find ourselves in are often out of our control, but stepping up and making the best of it shows our real character.”
The field events competitors did well this weekend, especially freshman javelin thrower Abby Denham, taking first and second place in every event.
“Abby did a phenomenal job. For her first collegiate javelin competition to end in a win and a PR says a lot about her future. And she certainly has a lot left in her this season,” Etelman said. “It also showed how we’ve added in depth in the field events in recruiting; that we were able to score multiple people in field events that we haven’t contested at a high level in a long time.”
Along with the field events, the track athletes also did well even though they did not run their primary events.
“Jasmine [Harris] showed signs that she is returning to form," Etelman said. "I would argue that the 100 hurdles is the toughest event to compete in such bad weather. I was happy with her performance. Amber did a great job of handling a heavy work load and being a winner in all of her events.”
Overall, the Cardinals did exceptionally well for their first outdoor meet of the season with the weather they had to deal with, and Etelman is excited to see what the rest of the season has in store for them.
“We’ll continue to build momentum throughout our March schedule in preparation for a big April. Our team’s energy is really good right now. Our underclassmen need to continue to develop and contribute as we put our key performers in their primary events over the coming weeks.”
Ball State will travel to Indiana Wesleyan University for the Polar Bear Invitational next weekend in the hopes of keeping this level of competition alive.