ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - It was an exciting day for the Rockford University outdoor track and field teams on Thursday, as the Regents began their 2018 season at the Viking Olympics. Thursday's meet was extremely tough as it featured some of the top teams in the Midwest including fourth-ranked Augustana. Despite the tough competition, Rockford still performed very well, with four school records falling and numerous individuals setting new personal bests.
Freshman Kaylynne Terry (Streator, Ill.) once again headlined Rockford's day as she had three top-ten finishes and broke a trio of school records. Her best effort came in the shot put where she placed second with a school record distance of 12.49 meters. Terry's mark in the event is currently is the second farthest throw in the NACC this season and the ninth farthest throw in all of NCAA Division III. She followed that up with a fourth place finish in the discus with a throw of 36.53 meters. Her throw broke the RU school record, was the second best throw in the NACC this season and the 39th best throw so far in Division III. Her final event of the day was the hammer throw where she placed seventh with a distance of 35.94 meters. Terry's throw once again broke the school record and was the second best throw in the NACC this year.
The duo of Katrina Kopfhamer (Portage, Wis.) and Nicole Melson (Harvard, Ill.) both performed well setting at least one new personal best. Kopfhamer's top finish of the day came in the hammer throw where she finished ninth with a personal best distance of 33.44 meters. She also took 20th in the discus with a personal best distance of 26.36 meters and 21st in the shot put with a throw of 8.32 meters. Melson placed 15th in the both the shot put and hammer throw with respective distances of 9.16 meters and 31.65 meters. She then set a new personal best and placed 18th in the discus with a throw of 28.23 meters.
Junior Lexie Collins (Earlville, Ill.) was extremely busy on Thursday, competing in a total of four events. Her top finish came in long jump where she placed 17th with a distance of 4.20 meters. Collins also competed in the 200 meter, 800 meter and shot put events. She placed 31st in the 200 meter dash with a time of 29.89 seconds, 26th in the 800 meter race with a time of 2:43.35 and 27th in the shot put with a throw of 6.46 meters.
Thrower Jared Johnson (Miami, Fla.) was the top performer for the RU men's team with a pair of top-ten finishes. Johnson finished ninth and broke his own school record in the hammer throw with a distance of 34.71 meters. He then took tenth in the shot put with a throw of 11.91 meters. Those two marks currently rank fifth and third respectively so far this season in the NACC. Johnson also participated in the discus event where his best throw traveled a distance of 31.33 meters.
The trio of Devon Lawrence (Loves Park, Ill.), Jonathan Ponce Cuiriz (Kewanee, Ill.) and Nick Thomas (Winslow, Ariz.) all performed well in the throwing events. Lawrence finished 13th in the hammer with a distance of 31.10 meters and 22nd in the shot put with a throw of 10.33 meters. He also took part in the discus where his best throw traveled a distance of 33.12 meters. Ponce Cuiriz placed 12th in the hammer throw with a distance of 31.40 meters and then set a new personal best in the shot put with a throw of 10.80 meters. Thomas finished 12th in the javelin with a throw of 36.44 meters and 14th in the hammer with a distance of 22.96 meters.
The running events were led by the duo of Christian Devant (Winnebago, Ill.) and Joe Werkheiser (Lena, Ill.). Devant's highest finish of the day came in the high jump where he finished 11th with a height of 1.70 meters. He then finished 15th in the 800 meter race crossing the finish line in 2:06.93 and 26th in the 1500 meter race with a personal best time of 4:20.06. Werkheiser's highest finish came in the 400 meter dash where he placed 14th and crossed the finish line in 53.13 seconds. He then took 23rd in the 200 meter dash with a time of 24.25 seconds.
The RU outdoor track and field teams return to action on Saturday, April 7 at the Benedictine Duals.