GENEVA -- In a field of tough competition, the Heidelberg University men's and women's track teams were in action this weekend at the Spire Midwest Open held in Geneva, Ohio at the Spire Institute. A host of Student Princes hit new personal bests and competed fiercely among the field full of NCAA DI, DII, DIII, and NAIA opponents.
"This was a big stepping stone for a lot of our athletes," said Head Coach Joe Yoder. "Austin Neura nearly broke the school record in the 5K, [Ben] Gutzky had a monster throw and huge PR, Wes [Fritz] won improving on his national qualifying mark, and Dan [Stoll] had a very solid meet."
Continuing, Coach Yoder said "On the women's side, Amanda [Elkins] ran a great 5K, freshman Arinn Hayes continues to improve and drops loads of time … the team is starting to see the results we have been looking for and we are excited for the next few weeks."
Austin Neura paced both squads in a day primarily focused on the distance events. Among four Student Prince personal best times, Neura set a new PR with his 5,000m time of 15:08.05. With the time, Neura crossed the finish line third overall -- the top DIII finisher in the field.
Other Heidelberg runners setting personal bests in the 5,000m include Dakota Freeman (16:46.78) and Tyler Hudson (17:18.14) for the men, and Amanda Elkins (18:34.63) for the women. Elkins was also the highest DIII placer in the women 5,000m.
Dan Stoll once again was at the forefront for the Berg as he bettered his indoor school record in the 200m that was set just one week ago. However, the time at this meet was not converted to a flat 200m track and thus, does not count on the record board. His time currently ranks as the 15th best in NCAA DIII. Stoll placed third overall in the event with a time of 22.07 seconds. The junior star also placed seventh in the 400m with a personal indoor best time of 49.34 seconds. This time ranks 11th in the nation in DIII.
Wes Fritz topped the charts in the high jump with a season-high jump of 2.06m to move into fourth best in the nation in DIII. Fritz was the top finisher, edging Evan Herschberger of Mount Union by .05m. Fritz also placed ninth in the long jump with a leap of 6.29m.
Additionally, Ben Gutzky blew away the field with a big personal record in the weight throw with a toss of 18.04m. This heave is good for 15th in the nation. The second best throw of the day was just 16.79m -- 1.25m shorter than Gutzky's.
Kenny Beucler finished seventh overall in the men's 600m with a time of 1:24.66.
On the women's side, Arinn Hayes finished tenth overall in 26.35 seconds in the 200m. Hayes also clocked a 8.13 in the 60m dash for 17th overall.
Sister, Ayanna Hayes leaped 9.63m in the women's triple jump to finish 14th overall.
The Student Princes return to the track on February 1-2 at the All-Ohio Multi Championships hosted by Denison University.