Men's Track Finishes 4th, Women 8th at Tiger Indoor Invitational; Malik Willis Takes 400-Meter Title

Men's Track Finishes 4th, Women 8th at Tiger Indoor Invitational; Malik Willis Takes 400-Meter Title

The Oglethorpe track and field teams enjoyed a very productive day at the Tiger Indoor Invitational Saturday in Sewanee, Tennessee, as the men's team finished fourth at the event while the women's squad finished eighth. In addition, senior Malik Willis took home the individual title in the men's 400-meter dash, posting a time of 52.64 seconds around the course. This serves as his first individual title since his SAA championship in the same event back in April 2016. 

That wasn't the only event that Willis earned a podium finish in, though, as he also took third place in the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.95 seconds. In all, he secured 16 of the team's 38 points with those two results. 

The men also saw a pair of second-place finishes. The men's distance medley team of sophomore Rodrigo Meade, and freshmen Omari Miller, Jonathan Vernon and Mateo Villa destroyed the previous school record in the event, earning their podium finish in the process. They posted a total time of 11 minutes, 24.9 seconds, coming within a second of Bryan for first place and besting the previous school record of 12:09.2. In addition, freshman Nick Evans earned a second-place finish in the 3,000-meter run, posting a 9:28.9. 

On the women's side, sophomore Arielle Shaw had her best jumping performance of the indoor season so far, coming in second with a triple jump of 36 feet, 7.5 inches. That put her just an inch behind the champion from Division II Mississippi College. 

Meanwhile, freshman Kayla Trice earned a pair of scoring finishes for the Petrels, coming in third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 27.21 seconds and posting sixth in the long jump, jumping 15 feet, 11.5 inches. Freshman Alex Prots also earned a fifth-place finish in the high jump, recording a leap of 4 feet, 5 inches. 

Rounding out the men's scorers, sophomore Rod Trujillo had another outstanding day in the shot put, putting up a throw of 42 feet, 4.25 inches to finish fourth. Freshman Nick Berardi earned another top five finish for the distance runners, coming in 5th at the 1-mile run with a time of 4:49.4. 

In addition, Meade would've finished third in the mile run with a time of 4:41.3, but was disqualified for stepping off the inside line of the track. Trice set the school record in the 55-meter dash, finishing third in the preliminaries with a time of 7.45 seconds. That time puts her 11th in the South/Southeast region currently, as well. Shaw finished sixth in the 55-meter preliminaries, posting a personal best of 7.66. The men also saw junior Colin Maurer post a person best with a 10:03.4 in the 3,000-meter run. That mark put him just over two seconds away from earning a point for his team, as he finished seventh in the event.

"It was a solid meet for both the men's and women's programs overall, and between each and every event group," said Oglethorpe head coach Kirk Shellhouse. "I thought it was a great demonstration of our current fitness level, and where we need to take our development and training from here. I'm excited to see what we can do as we conclude the indoor track and field season and see where the outdoor season brings us."

The Petrels will be back in action next week, when they return to the same course for the Sewanee Indoor Invitational on Friday.