(Pictured above: Indiana Tech's Kirsten Flake helps the Warriors accelerate to a fourth-place finish in the women's 4x200 relay.)
The Indiana Institute of Technology made a big splash at the prestigious Penn Relays, showing that it can compete with top programs of all levels.
The Warriors top-10 national finishes were impressive, with second place in women’s 400-meter hurdles, third in the women’s 100-meter dash, fourth in the women’s 4x200 relay, fifth in the men’s long jump, sixth in the women’s 4x400 relay and seventh in the men’s 4x100 relay. Several school records were shattered in multiple events.
The highlight of action on Saturday was the women’s 4x200-meter relay, which was featured on NBC’s coverage of the event. Announcer and four-time Olympic Medalist Ato Boldon praised the Warriors in his pre-race breakdown as the only the NAIA school competing in the event, and he noted their ability to compete at such a high level. The team, consisting of Chloe Brooks (Elkhart, IN/Concord), Shayla France (Harrison Twp, MI/L’Anse Creuse), Kirsten Flake (Muncie, IN/Muncie Central), and Adella King (Detroit, MI/Finney), did not disappoint, as they dropped another second off the school record and grabbed fourth place in 1:33.46.
Doug Edgar, who’s been Indiana Tech’s head track and field coach for the past three years, was pleased with the Warriors performance on the national stage.
“This was a really exciting weekend for our program. We made a strong debut at the Penn Relays in front of more than 110,000 people over our three days there,” he said. “Our student-athletes stepped up and really made a name for Indiana Tech. We came away with some great performances and some learning experiences.”
The weekend started out with Zalika Dixon (Brooklyn, NY/Fashion Industries) finishing second in the women’s 400-meter hurdles championship in a time of 58.34. Her time is a season-best and the top time in the NAIA by more than 1.5 seconds.
Later on Friday, the women’s 4x100-meter relay and 4x400-meter relay would qualify for the finals. The men’s 4x100 and 4x400 would also move through to finals with the 4x400, running a school record 3:09.95. Dontaey Paige (Ft. Wayne, IN/Heritage) would run a 10.68 to finish in 13th place in the 100-meter dash, while Adella King (Detroit, MI/Finney) would run an 11.51 to move into the 100 final ranked second. In the discus, Aaron Baker (Howe, IN/Lakeland) hit a season-best mark of 169-5.
Action concluded on Friday with the women’s 4x200-meter relay and the men’s and women’s sprint medley relays. The 4x200 team would easily win their heat in 1:34.35 to move on the championship. The women’s sprint medley would capture 19th out of 35 schools, beating teams like the University of Connecticut. The men would claim 20th out of 41, beating teams like Indiana University and South Carolina, among others.
Saturday kicked off with Herb Gary (Indianapolis, IN/Ben Davis) and David Army (Elkhart, IN/Elkhart Central) both clearing 2.0 meters, but missing at 2.04. Darryl Marlow (Norcross, GA/Chattahoochee Tech) would grab fifth in the long jump with a mark of 7.03 meters, he has a previous better mark on the season. Brandon Reynard (Muncie, IN/Jay County) ran 53.43 to finish in 20th place in the 400 hurdles. He has a faster time on the season.
The men’s 4x100 would finish in seventh and the men’s 4x800-meter relay would hit the A standard in 7:44.12. Adella King would come back an hour later and place third in the women’s 100 behind a runner from Texas A&M and UTech College (Jamaica); both runners have run under 12.10 before.
The meet concluded with the 4x400-meter relays. The women would run first and grab a season-best 3:42.6, landing in sixth place. The men would re-break their school record in 3:09.15, but would be disqualified after the race for stepping out of their lane on the lead-off leg.