Lincoln, Neb. – The Nebraska track and field team closed the opening weekend of competition with 11 event titles at the Holiday Inn Invitational in front of 2,180 fans at the Devaney Center Indoor Track on Saturday. The day was highlighted by top finishes from a pair of Husker newcomers on the women’s side as Chantal Duncan and Kadecia Baird produced strong starts to their Nebraska campaigns.
Duncan put together a solid appearance to begin her day, winning the women’s 400 meters with a personal-best time of 55.14. Her mark ranks eighth in the nation and first in the Big Ten Conference. Baird did not let up in her first event as a Husker. The freshman from Brooklyn, N.Y., took home the 200 meters title with a personal-best time of 23.70, coming in at fifth all-time in Husker history. Her time ranks second in the nation and first in the Big Ten.
Carlie Pinkelman helped the Huskers sweep the women’s throws titles on the weekend as she took home the shot put crown. Pinkelman notched a throw of 51-11 ¾ (15.84), recording an indoor personal best and a throw that ranks 11th in the nation. Will Lohman produced the top collegiate throw in the men’s shot put, finishing with a mark of 59-9 1/2 (18.22).
Christian Sanderfer won the men’s pole vault as he notched a personal-best vault of 17-0 ¾ (5.20). Tess Merrill then completed the Nebraska sweep of the pole vault with a mark of 12-9 ½ (3.90).
Oladapo Akinmoladun notched his first title of the 2014 season with a first-place finish in the men’s 60-meter hurdles. Akinmoladun recorded a time of 7.92 in the event. Tibor Korknai finished third in the event with a time of 8.09, while Sean Pille was fifth with a time of 8.20. Mila Andric finished sixth for the women with a time of 8.83.
John Welk came in seventh in the 60 meters with a time of 6.97, while Breunna McCarty was fifth in the women’s 60 meters, clocking a time of 7.65. Mara Weekes finished second in the 400 meters with a personal-best time of 55.19. Jake Bender finished third in the men’s 400 meters with a personal-best time of 47.72, while Dexter McKenzie was fourth with a time of 48.09.
Levi Gipson led the way for the Huskers in the men’s 600 meters as he was the top collegiate finisher with a personal-best time of 1:17.65. His time ranks third all-time in the Husker record books. London Hawk finished behind Gipson with a time of 1:18.40. Ellen Dougherty was the top collegiate finisher in the women’s 600 meters. She recorded a time of 1:32.88 in the event.
The men’s distance medley relay squad of Trevor Vidlak, London Hawk, Jacob Holtmeier and Connor Gibson finished first in the event with a time of 9:51.70. The women’s team of Shawnice Williams, Ellen Dougherty, Chantal Duncan and Anna Peer finished third with a time of 11:56.76.
The men’s 4x400-meter relay team of Jake Bender, Levi Gipson, Christian Sanderfer and Cody Rush took the event title, posting a time of 3:11.12 for the win. The women’s 4x400-meter relay team of Mara Weekes, Kadecia Baird, Kari Heck and Ellie Grooters finished second behind Kansas, with a time of 3:47.58.
The Huskers return to action next weekend with the NWU Invite on Friday, Jan. 24 and the Mark Colligan Memorial on Saturday, Jan. 25. Both events will be at the Devaney Center Indoor Track.