The Missouri Western track team had two individual event champions at the South Dakota State University D2 Challenge on Friday, Jan. 19.
Julia Odir, junior, took first place in the triple jump event, where she jumped 38-1 ½, (11.62m). Odir’s junior teammate Mallory Vawter won first place in the long jump event with a leap that reached 17-1 ½ (5.22m). This was Vawter’s first competition wearing the Western black and gold colors. She also took fifth in the 60m hurdles with a time of 9.03.
Odir seemed to have mixed but mostly positive emotions about taking first.
“It was a pretty decent weekend,” Odir said. “I didn’t jump like I wanted to, but I’m happy that I got the win and was the first champion in the triple jump in Western track and field history.”
Western nearly had third first place finish, as freshman Hanna Williams came in one hundredth of a second (55.58) behind Autumn Santos of Minnesota State (55.57) in the 400 meter final. Williams said she felt mixed emotions about the outcome of her race.
“Well I was mad for awhile because I was just thinking if I would have kicked it in a little earlier then I would of got first,” Williams said. “But after awhile I was thinking to myself I still didn’t do bad. It wasn’t first but it was close.”
Despite coming so close to first, William’s confidence actually went up due to her finish.
“Knowing that I will have competition everywhere I go makes me want to work harder to be the best I can be,” Williams said.
Williams also took ninth in the 200m with a time of 26.03.
Including Williams, Odir and Vawter, Western had 11 top 10 finishers at the meet. Other standout performances included freshman Jordan Garr taking second place in the shot put with a throw of 52-1 ¾ (15.89m).
Freshman Sunni Sellars (7.88) took ninth in the 60m. Junior Kaitlyn Shoemaker (5:14.03) took fifth in the one mile run. Senior Sarah Krig tied for fourth in the high jump with a jump of 5-1, while fellow senior Miranda Migletz took eighth.
Head coach Marc Bierbaum was happy for his team’s success but is ready to move and get ready for the next meet.
“I’m excited to get down there and get back to work,” Bierbaum said.
Western’s next event will be the Gorilla Classic in Pittsburg, Kansas, on Feb. 9.