GREENCASTLE, IND. – Manchester University Director of Cross Country/Track and Field Brian Cashdollar's team had plenty of reasons to leave DePauw University's Blackstock Stadium smiling Saturday, April 15.
The Spartans gave Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference rival Hanover College a battle to the final event for the team championship, tallying 148 points compared to the Panthers' 153. Along individual lines, senior thrower Shay Aator (West Lafayette, Ind.) turned plenty of heads on a summer-like afternoon, launching the hammer 167 feet, seven inches (51.07 meters) to take over the top spot on the HCAC list, set a new school record and bolt into the NCAA Division III top 15 (No. 14) as part of a runner-up mark that trailed only a moon shot toss from Trine University's Kara Eck that sailed over 180 feet; sophomore sprinter Dasia Beck (Indianapolis, Ind.) held off the host Tigers' Kaitlyn Daanen at the tape to win the 100 in 12.5 seconds which was a personal career-best and second-fastest in the conference; freshman Hannah Wappes (Columbia City, Ind.) went 4:58.87 in the 1500 for first and tally the fastest clocking in the loop; and senior distance standout Mariah Jordan (Fort Wayne, Ind.) put herself second on the HCAC's 5000 group, running to an 18:46.57 which was an event championship as well.
Manchester University was narrowly kept away from several other event victories. Besides Aator's second-place finish in the hammer, junior thrower Jacey Cauhorn (Kendallville, Ind.) had a big day, placing second in the javelin (31.16 meters – 102 feet, three inches) and discus (34.5 meters – 113 feet, two inches) to go along with a third in the shot put; the 4x100 meter relay team was just nosed out at the line by Hanover (50.52 – 50.65); and fellow seniors Tiffany Harber (Columbia City, Ind.) (19:08.06) and Ruth Ritchey-Moore (20:17.65) joined Jordan for a one-through-three sweep of the 5K.
Manchester University continues its season Saturday, April 22. They're among the field at the Ohio Northern University outdoor Polar Bear Invitational.