By Jared Fields, Managing Editor
Whether in Philadelphia, Des Moines, Iowa, or in Abilene, the ACU track and field teams enjoyed plenty of success this past weekend.
Davy Manga won the triple jump at the Penn relays with a Division II-best distance of 53- 11.75 feet.
Manga was also part of the men’s 110-meter hurdle shuttle relay that came away with a surprising victory. Matt Pugh ran the final leg, making up a 10-meter gap to overtake the leader and win the event for the Wildcats. Along with Manga and Pugh were Andrew McDowell and Chris Pounds.
“I don’t think they were the favorites going in,” said head coach Don Hood. “I think three of the four ran their best times of the year.”
At the Drake Relays in Iowa, Angie Aguilar won the women’s pole vault with a height of 13-3.50. Kyle Dennis placed fourth in the pole vault there with a height of 16-6.75.
In Abilene at a duel meet with McMurry, freshman Landon Ehlers continued his steady improvement, posting a qualifying mark of 16-3.00.
Just a year ago in high school, Ehlers jumped 13- 6.00. He attributes his improvement to the coaching and hard work.
“I set goals at the first of the season, and I’m looking at it now, and they’re all close now,” Ehlers said.
Jessica Blair qualified in the triple jump and pole vault in the Abilene meet.
Also in the men’s triple jump, senior Vladyslav Gorbenko finished seventh with a distance of 50-5.50 feet at the Penn Relays.
“He was a little disappointed,” Hood said. “Vlad’s mature enough to know that you don’t sacrifice the end of the year for the middle of the year. I think he is fine. I know he would have liked to jump better at that big of a meet.”
Gorbenko also competed in the long jump, placing 10th with a jump of 22-6.25.
Also at Philadelphia, Nicodemus Naimadu won another event, this time the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a national-best time of 8:35.55.
Olha Kryv’yak placed seventh in the steeplechase but bettered her previous provisional qualifying time with a time of 10:28.36.