RECAP: Ball State track and field finish 6th in Oliver Nikoloff Invitational
Ball State track and field traveled to Cincinnati to compete in the Oliver Nikoloff Invitational.
Despite the cold and windy weather, the Cardinals finished in sixth place with 13 individual top-10 finishes and one first-place relay team. The Cardinals also had 12 career-best performances.
Head coach Brian Etelman was happy with how the team did and where it placed, both individually and as a team.
Friday: No Athletes Competed
10) Stephanie McElhaney 17:55.59
12) Maritza Rodriguez 18:01.57
16) Kitty Taylor 18:13.30
2) Brooke Talhelm 2:13.79
4) Danielle Dahl 2:14.70
8) Peyton Kneadler 2:15.77
2) Jazmin Smith 14.44
8) Anna-Kay West 15.23
6) Gabby Sims 58.60 (58.591)
7) Olivia Ashba 58.60 (58.596)
30) Emma Maddelein 5:01.49
32) Meliza Rodriguez 5:13.73
4) Amber Jones 25.18
2) Jordan Timmons 11:40.23
4) Emma Manchess 12:10.90
5) Ericka Rinehart 12:18.92
1) Gabby Sims, Amber Jones, Bryeanna Byrdsong, Danielle Dahl 3:51.51
8) Megan Graves 1.47 m
9) Kelsey Walters 12.45 m
8) Adrienne Mayfield 40.53 m
“We won events, had people run personal bests and season bests and I was really happy with the effort,” Etelman said. “Most of the events we were in were pretty competitive and we did really well in them.”
Freshman Brooke Talhelm got second place in the 800-meter race with a time of 2:13.79. Etelman said that Talhelm is in a “groove” and has put together multiple weekends in a row of strong performances.
“It is a product of her hard work and as well as she is doing right now, she will be doing better as the season goes on,” Etelman said. “It is pretty exciting, but we need to keep her levelheaded and focused through the rest of the season.”
Freshman Stephanie McElhaney had a huge meet with a personal record in the 5,000-meter run. She ran a time of 17:55.59. She placed in 10th, but Etelman said she has never looked better.
“She did not rocket up, but she has been developing a lot through the season and if you look at the recent meets to now she has done significantly better,” Etelman said.
Junior Adrienne Mayfield had a personal record in Butler in the season opener, but took last week off. Etelman was concerned at first that she would not carry that momentum into this week because she sat out a week, but there was no reason for him to be worried.
Mayfield topped her personal best in Butler by 1.88 meters. She threw the discus 40.53 meters which landed her in 8th place.
“I know that it was huge for her,” Etelman said. "Every time one person on the team does well, it positively affects the rest of the team.”
The 1600-meter relay team made up of junior Gabby Sims, freshman Amber Jones, freshman Bryeanna Byrdsong and senior Danielle Dahl finished in first place, beating the Bearcats at home with a time of 3:51.51.
“Bryeanna Byrdsong ran her first outdoor race this season and she did a really good job of competing,” Etelman said. “Dani Dahl also ran the fastest sprint of her life in the relay today, and that was really good.”
Etelman also said Jones has been "quietly beating people."
"She is competitive and ran really close to what her personal record was in high school today,” Etelman said.
The Cardinals will be off next weekend, but will be back April 14 and April 15 for a meet at home.
“We are going to have a lot of momentum carrying over into the home meet and it will be a little more competitive since there will be a couple teams from the Mid-American Conference there,” Etelman said. “We always do really well at home, so I’m not worried.”