LISLE, Ill. - It was a record-setting weekend for the Regents at the 2018 NACC Outdoor Track and Field Championship. The Regents set eleven school records on Friday and Saturday, seven on the women's side and four on the men's side. As a team, the men finished seventh with 38 points, which is the second most points Rockford has ever scored at the NACC Outdoor Championship. The women's team also did extremely well, finishing eighth with 24.5 points, which is the second most points the Regents have ever scored at the NACC Outdoor Championship.
RU thrower Kaylynne Terry (Streator, Ill.) once again stole the show on Saturday. Terry won the shot put easily with a record-breaking throw of 13.98 meters. Terry's throw destroyed the RU school record, the NACC record and the NACC Outdoor Championship record. Additionally, she now has the eighth best throw in all of NCAA Division III and is well on her way to qualifying for the NCAA Division III Championship. The NCAA Championship will take place at the end of the month with the top 22 individuals in the event qualifying. Terry is the first ever RU female track and field athlete to win the same event at both the NACC Indoor and Outdoor Championships in the same season, and only the second RU track and field athlete to accomplish the feat (Matt Lindgren). Terry also participated in the discus and hammer throw events. In the discus, she finished fourth and broke the RU school record with a throw of 37.60 meters. Then in the hammer, Terry placed seventh and broke the RU record with a distance of 40.92 meters.
Teammate Lexie Collins (Earlville, Ill.) also had an outstanding weekend as she broke four school records. Collins' highest finish came in the heptathlon where she placed fifth with a school record 3208 points. Her best finish in the heptathlon came in the 100 meter hurdles where she placed third and broke another school record with a time of 17.57 seconds. Collins then placed seventh and broke the school record in the high jump with a height of 1.41 meters. She concluded her record-breaking weekend in the 400 meter hurdles. Collins broke the RU school record in the preliminaries when she crossed the finish line in 1:13.02. She then took ninth in the finals of the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 1:16.24.
There were other notable performances on the women's team as well. Sophomore Katrina Kopfhamer (Portage, Wis.) had an excellent showing in the hammer throw, where she finished eleventh with a distance of 37.02 meters. Senior Nicole Melson (Harvard, Ill.) performed well in the shot put with a personal best throw of 10.31 meters to also finish in eleventh place. Rockford's final points of the NACC Championship came from its 4x100 meter team of Lexie Collins, Danielle Hanson (Machesney Park, Ill.), Ali Jaeger (Jefferson, Wis.) and Maddy Pearson (Peru, Ill.). The Regents placed seventh in the event and crossed the finish line in 58.18 seconds.
Junior Jared Johnson (Miami, Fla.) had the top finish for the Regents on the men's side. Johnson placed second in the shot put and broke the school record with a throw of 13.64 meters. He continued his stellar weekend with a pair of sixth place performances in the discus and hammer. In the discus Johnson finished sixth with a distance of 36.84 meters. He then broke his second school record of the weekend in the hammer throw with a distance of 39.00 meters.
Freshman Tyrece Ahrens (Kankakee, Ill.) turned in a pair of top-five finishes for the Regents at the NACC Outdoor Championship. Ahrens finished fourth in the 400 meter dash with a time of 50.17 seconds. He then placed fifth in the triple jump with a wind-assisted distance of 12.57 meters. Because his longest jump of the event was wind-assisted and cannot count towards a record, Ahrens actually set the school record with his previous jump of 12.33 meters.
The final RU record to fall over the weekend came courtesy of the men's 4x400 meter relay team. The team of Tyrece Ahrens, Bailey Beard (Rockford, Ill.), Jesus Campos (Chicago, Ill.) and Christian Devant (Winnebago, Ill.) finished fifth in the event and broke the school record with a time of 3:27.80.
There were multiple other notable performances on the men's team as well. Christian Devant tallied a pair of top-10 individual finishes. Devant placed sixth in the high jump with a height of 1.72 meters. He also finished ninth in the 800 meter race with a time of 2:20.87. Bailey Beard did an excellent job in the decathlon, finishing fifth. His highest finish in the ten events came in the 1500 meter race, which he won with a time of 4:41.30. Devon Lawrence (Loves Park, Ill.) also turned in a top-10 finish in the discus at the NACC Outdoor Championship. Lawrence placed seventh with a distance of 35.58 meters. Senior Nick Thomas (Winslow, Ariz.) had a top-10 finish and scored points in the shot put event. Thomas finished eighth and set a new personal best with a throw of 11.86 meters. Finally, Joe Werkheiser (Lena, Ill.) set a new personal best and finished tenth in the 800 meter race with a time of 2:02.68.
"I am extremely happy with how this season went," RU Head Coach Morgan Goetschel commented. "We have had student-athletes step up all season long when we needed it, and that continued over the past two days at the conference meet. I was really pleased with how well everyone performed and excited to see the progress we were able to make both individually and as a team. There were numerous student-athletes that came up big for us and exceeded expectations at the conference championship. Some of those individuals include: Jared Johnson in the shot put, Tyrece Ahrens in the 400 and triple jump and Lexie Collins in the heptathlon and the high jump. Then obviously Kaylynne Terry was outstanding once again, as she picked up right where she left off during the indoor season by winning the shot put and scoring points for us in both hammer and discus. Overall we have made a huge amount of progress throughout the year, and there are many more great things to come for both the men's and the women's programs in the future."