TERRE HAUTE, IND. – Dasia Beck knows, like all track athletes, that time is of the essence.
She proved that in Manchester University's indoor season opener Friday, Jan. 13, at Rose-Hulman's Sports and Recreation Center. The sophomore from Indianapolis, Ind., coming off a first-year campaign in which she claimed three top five marks at the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships, showed she could be ready for more of the same, winning the 60 meter and 200 meter dashes in a dual against the league rival Fightin' Engineers.
The program's school record holder in the 60, she held off classmate Brianna Jondle (Elkhart, Ind.) for first by 15-hundredths of a second (8.47-8.62). Junior sprinter and jumps specialist Paige Keller (Greenville, Ohio) nearly made it a one-through-three sweep for Coach Brian Cashdollar's squad in the event but was nosed out at the line by a thousandth of a second (8.66-8.67).
Beck came back for the 200 title, winning in 28.74 seconds. Her two individual championships were among four for a veteran-laden Black and Gold unit, as senior distance standout Mariah Jordan (Fort Wayne, Ind.) picked up right where she left off at the end of the 2016 cross country season, as she crossed first in the 3000 (10:53.84) to lead four in the top five with classmate Tiffany Harber (Columbia City, Ind.) ending second and the freshman duo of Hannah Wappes (Columbia City, Ind.) and Emily Ewen (Walcott, Ind.) ending fourth and fifth, respectively.
The field events had just as much to celebrate. Their efforts were spotlighted by a top three places sweep of the shot put with junior Whitney White (Portage, Ind.) taking the top spot (35 feet, three and three-quarters inches), while freshmen Emily Bailey (Warsaw, Ind.) and Austin Jones (Lapel, Ind.) placed second and third. The 20-pound weight crew added to an impressive first for throws coach Kaylea Jachno's group, as junior Kara Brueckman (Crown Point, Ind.) was the champion (38 feet, five and a half inches), and classmate Cassie Roberts (Centerville, Ind.) was runner-up.
MU's men battled the perennial power Rose-Hulman squad at each turn, too. Freshman jumps specialist Austin Roberts (Indianapolis, Ind.) turned some heads, hitting 19 feet, eight and a quarter inches in the long jump for the top spot. Senior Drew Foster (Seymour, Ind.) added to the 33-point total by placing fourth in the shot put and weight throw.
On the track, junior sprinter Harrison Hollis (Lebanon, Ind.) and senior hurdler Jordan Crosby (Indianapolis, Ind.) managed a pair of third-place finishes. Hollis clocked a 7.33 in the 60-meter dash, and Crosby crossed the finish line in 9.32 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles.
Manchester University's campaign continues Saturday, Jan. 21. They're part of the field at Trine University for the Keith Turner Alumni Invitational.