By Owen Smith, Sports Editor and Julian Howell, Staff Writer
In what was the final indoor competition of the season for many, the NCAC Championships proved to be an incredible weekend for some standout Big Red Athletes. Aedin Brennan ’16, who along with Wallace Branche ‘16, will compete in the National Championships this coming weekend.
After garnering 43 points over the two day event, Brennan left with three first place finishes, four all NCAC honors and her second consecutive NCAC Women’s Field Athlete of the Year Award. As to Brennan is able to excel from one discipline to the next. She explains how she channels each event and uses it as a springboard for the next one.
“I don’t always have a great jump but I know I can go out on the track and run my hardest,” Brennan said. “I also have days where I can carry my excitement from the field events into the running events. Either way, I don’t have time to dwell on anything and I just have to keep moving.” Another top Big Red performance for the women came from Hannah Hall ’18, who won the high jump by clearing a mark of 5’4.25”. The freshman took her first conference title at the meet this weekend, with the team finishing fourth overall.
On the men’s side, Wallace Branche was one of the few highlights during the weekend, winning the triple jump with a distance of 46’3.5”. This was his second consecutive and third overall conference title in the event.
Unfortunately, the team as a whole did not quite reach their goals, finishing in seventh.
“It’s safe to say that I am disappointed in our seventh place finish for the men’s team at the NCAC Indoor Championships. We have faced a lot of adversity heading into last week, but we were all determined to perform to the best of our abilities at DePauw,” Quenton Richards ‘16 said.
Richards continued, “Other than the conference title, the NCAC Championships have pretty big implications heading into the outdoor season. The indoor championships certainly aren’t a complete picture of the year in total, but they aren’t something to brush off either. We are going to use the standings to motivate us to train harder and fix our mistakes. We’re going to reflect on the meet, but come Monday, we are getting back on the track and looking forward.”
On the track, the 4×400 relay performed well enough to be proud of their finish. The team of Mitch Keller ‘16, Ryan Keller ‘16, Ian Mulmat ’16 and Ethan George ’17 finished in fourth place with a time of 3:31.34.
Richards is looking forward to spring break as an opportunity to regroup and get ready for the outdoor season.
“We’ll start our improvements with our spring break trip next week,” he said. “We’re heading to Orlando to train and will compete at Emory at the conclusion of the week. For the men’s track and field team, it’s time to go to work.”
The outdoor season will begin later this month. Branche and Brennan will travel to Winston-Salem, N.C. for the NCAA Division III Indoor Nationals on March 13-14.
Photo Courtesy of Nelson Dow