Wooster, Ohio – Fueled by two individual event titles and one relay title, the Wittenberg University Indoor Track & Field teams closed out the winter season on Saturday at the NCAC Indoor Championships, held at The College of Wooster.
While the Oberlin won the women's title with 197 points, the race between places three-five was separated by just 3.0 points, with Wittenberg finishing fifth overall with 91.00 points. Wooster was third with 94.90, while Allegheny checked in at fourth with 93 total points.
The Wittenberg men finished eighth overall in the team standings with 35 total points, while Wabash captured the conference crown with 160 total points.
On the men's side, the Tigers climbed the All-NCAC podium in one event as the team of sophomore Austyn Albanese, sophomore David Haake, freshman Joshua Finkeldey and senior Kyle Farnbauch placed third overall in the meet-ending 4x400-meter relay with a time of 3:29.20 seconds. Individually, Farnbauch and fellow classmates D'Anthony Dorsey and Charles Rodeheffer posted the top finishes for the Tigers over the course of the meet, led by Dorsey placing fourth in the weight throw (15.91 meters) and fifth overall in the shot put with a heave of 14.05 meters. Farnbauch also posted fifth-place individual finish as he stopped the tape in the 60-meter hurdles in the fifth position with a time of 8.67 seconds, while Rodeheffer finished fifth overall in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 15:36.28.
Wittenberg also got three additional top-eight showings in the field events from three different athletes, led by junior Jaycee Perry finishing seventh in the high jump after clearing a height of 1.78 meters. The freshman duo of Grant Shepardson and Paul Varnadoe each finished eighth overall in a field event, with Shepardson reaching a distance of 6.33 meters in the long jump and Varnadoe combining for a leap of 12.63 meters in the triple jump.
Finally, the men's team also saw its 4x200-meter relay team finish fourth overall in 1:33.42, and the Distance Medley Relay squad place sixth overall with a time of 10:52.25.
Freshman Alexis Walker had a memorable showing in her inaugural appearance at the NCAC Indoor Track & Field Championships as she took home two individual event titles and was part of another winning relay team. Walker, who was named the 2019 NCAC Indoor MVP for Sprint/Hurdles events, started her impressive showing on Saturday by first winning the 60-meter dash with a time of 8.01 seconds. She then returned to the track just two events later and broke the tape in the 200-meter dash with a winning time of 26.33. Finally, Walker closed out her day by running the second leg on the Tigers' winning 4x400-meter relay team that crossed the line first in 4:11.44. She was joined on the relay team by sophomore Marteana Newton, sophomore Taylor Barnhisel and junior Alexis Gray. Walker is just the fourth Wittenberg athlete in school history to win the NCAC MVP for sprint/hurdle events at the indoor meet, and the first since Brea Medlock won the award in back-to-back years in 2015 & '16. Not only did Walker earn the MVP for sprint/hurdle events, but she was also named the NCAC Newcomer of the Year as the top performer at the meet in her first year of collegiate competition.
Three additional female athletes picked up All-NCAC finishes over the course of the two-day meet, led by sophomore Hannah Eley finishing second overall in the women's weight throw competition with a school-record toss of 15.57 meters. Classmate Alexis Johnson also played a key role in compiling key points for the Tigers during the meet, which included earning All-NCAC honors in the triple jump after finishing third overall with a combined leap of 10.73 meters. She also posted three additional top-eight finishes during the meet, finishing fourth in the long jump (5.02 meters), fifth in the high jump (1.54 meters) and 8th in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 10.13 seconds. Finally, Gray was the runner-up in the women's 800-meter run after stopping the clock with a time of 2:20.54.
In addition, Newton placed fourth in the 400-meter run with a time of 1:02.00, and freshman Stevie Plikerd finished fifth overall in the long jump competition with a leap of 4.85 meters. The Tigers also picked up team points in a pair of relay events, finishing sixth in the Distance Medley Relay (13:13.89) and eighth overall in the 4x200-meter relay with a time of 1:54.22.