Tiger men fifth, women sixth at MIAA meet
TOPEKA — The Fort Hays State men's track and field team placed fifth at the 2021 MIAA Indoor Track and Field Championships that wrapped up Sunday (Feb. 28). The Tigers saw three school records go down Sunday, in addition to two MIAA champions, six All-MIAA performances and six provisional marks on the weekend. FHSU picked up 86 team points to place fifth, matching its best-ever finish at the indoor MIAA championships.
Matthew Pieper opened the day with a come-from-behind victory in the heptathlon. The senior compiled 5,258 points over the seven events, breaking his own program record by 32 points. He was in third place with two events remaining, but climbed into the lead after clearing the second-best height in the pole vault (14-1.25) and running the second-best time in the 1,000m (2:46.72). Pieper's total of 5,258 points is also the facility record inside Washburn's Indoor Athletic Facility.
Ethan Lang broke the school record in the 600y run after winning the race in 1:10.91. It was Lang's second All-MIAA honor in the race after placing third a year ago. The sophomore's time is also a new facility record.
Pieper and Lang teamed up with Jack Pakkebier and Kaden Wren to break another school record at the end of the day, combining for a time of 3:16.62 in the 4x400m relay, one-hundredth of a second faster than the previous record. The team placed fifth in the race.
Aaron Mangan finished second and earned All-MIAA honors in the 800m run finals, running a personal-best time of 1:52.86. The time is an NCAA Division II provisional qualifying mark.
Philip Landrum earned a pair of All-MIAA honors after placing third in both the 60m finals and the 200m finals. The junior posted a time of 6.87 to start the day in the 60m dash while crossing the line in 21.66 later in the afternoon in the 200m dash.
The Tigers also received team points on the track from Kaden Wren's fourth-place finish in the 600y run finals (1:11.59), Caleb Carrasco's eighth-place finish in the 800m run finals (2:05.32) and Grant Bradley's sixth-place finish in the mile run (4:12.86).
Fort Hays State picked up points from five other field performances on Sunday, including Lucas Broxterman (fifth, 6-4.75) and Dayton Williams (eighth, 6-4.75J) in the high jump, Xavier Robinson (sixth, 47-0.75) in the triple jump and Jack Pakkebier (sixth, 4741) and Nolan Churchman (seventh, 4716) in the heptathlon.
The Tigers will now wait to see who is selected to compete in the 2021 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships, set to be announced Tuesday (March 2). Those selected will compete in Birmingham, Ala. March 12-13. FHSU posted 10 provisional marks this season, including four that currently rank in the top 15 nationally.
Tiger women take sixth
The Fort Hays State women's track and field team placed sixth. Two Tigers took home championships while five earned All-MIAA honors. FHSU posted one automatic qualifying mark and two provisional marks on Sunday while picking up 56.5 team points, enough to match its best-ever finish at the event.
Alexandra Hart won the high jump competition after again surpassing the NCAA Division II automatic qualifying mark. The freshman cleared a height of 5-9.25 while finishing first in the high jump for the fifth time in five tries this season. Hart cleared the bar on her first attempt at each of the five heights she cleared.
After breaking a pair of school records Saturday, Lyric Holman matched one of those marks while earning one title and three All-MIAA honors on Sunday. Holman placed first in the 60m finals, matching her school-record time of 7.59. She then finished third in the 200m finals, crossing the line in 25 seconds flat. The junior rounded out the day with another podium finish, this time in the 4x400m relay with Emily Salmans, Taylor Savolt and Mattie Rossi. The Tigers teamed up to post a time of 3:51.98, good for third place.
Salmans also earned multiple All-MIAA accolades, placing third in the 800m finals with a time of 2:15.58. Faith Little grabbed the Tigers an additional team point with an eighth-place finish in the race, posting a time of 2:20.26.
Savolt helped the Tiger team score in the field events as well, placing sixth in the triple jump with a clearance of 38-9.5, a mark that surpasses the NCAA Division II provisional mark.
Elsewhere in the field events, Summer Kragel placed fifth in the high jump after clearing the 5-4.5 bar, grabbing FHSU 3.5 team points.
The Tigers will now wait to see who is selected to compete in the 2021 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships, set to be announced Tuesday (March 2). Those selected will compete in Birmingham, Ala. March 12-13. The Tigers recorded six provisional marks this season, including three that currently rank in the top 13 in the country.