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Devant, Ponce Cuiriz and Terry Break School Records at the Benedictine Invite

Virginia Reed
Virginia Reed

LISLE, Ill. - The Rockford University outdoor track and field teams continued their season on a chilly Saturday afternoon at the Benedictine University Invite. As a team the RU women finished in fifteenth place, while the men took eighteenth place. Individually, it was another stellar day for the Regents as a trio of records fell, along with multiple new personal bests being set.

Junior runner Christian Devant (Winnebago, Ill.) broke the Rockford University school record in the 3000 meter race on Saturday. The record stood for over eight years prior to Saturday when Devant finished the race in 9:24.54 and took eighth place. It was truly an impressive accomplishment as Devant broke the record by over 20 seconds in his first time participating in the event for the outdoor season. 

The other record to fall on the men's side came courtesy of Jonathan Ponce Cuiriz (Kewanee, Ill.). Ponce Cuiriz broke the RU record in the hammer throw with a distance of 36.26 meters to finish in 20th place. He also participated in the shot put and javelin events with throws of 10.51 meters and 29.38 meters to finish in 25th and 16th places respectively. 

The duo of Jared Johnson (Miami, Fla.) and Nick Thomas (Winslow, Ariz.) each set at least one personal best in the field events. Johnson competed in four total events and set new personal bests in two of them. In the hammer and javelin events, Jonson placed 22nd and 13th with personal best throws of 35.16 meters and 32.79 meters. He also took part in the shot put and discus where he finished 14th and 20th with respective throws of 11.79 meters and 33.06 meters. Thomas set a new personal best in the discus event with a throw of 32.85 meters to place 21st. He also took 10th in the javelin with a throw of 34.94 meters. 

Joe Werkheiser (Lena, Ill.) and Tyrece Ahrens (Kankakee, Ill.) led the way for Rockford in the sprint and mid-distance events. Werkheiser finished 10th in the 400 meter run with a time of 53.51 seconds and 13th in the 800 meter run crossing the finish line in 2:09.68. Ahrens placed eighth in the 100 meter dash crossing the finish line in 11.62 seconds, and then took 13th in the 200 meter dash with a time of 23.72 seconds.

The other school record that fell came at the hands of freshman Kaylynne Terry (Streator, Ill.). Terry broke her own school record and took second in the shot put with a throw of 13.10 meters. Her throw is currently the farthest throw in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference this season and the 15th best throw in all of Division III. Terry also took part in both the discus and hammer events, placing 14th and 28th with respective distances of 34.13 meters and 33.41 meters. 

Senior Lexie Collins (Earlville, Ill.) participated in four events for the Regents on Saturday. Her top finish came in the javelin when she placed eighth with a throw of 24.70 meters in her first ever attempt in the event. Collins then set a new personal best and placed 15th in the long jump with a distance of 4.22 meters. Her other two events were the 400 meter and 800 meter runs. Collins placed 19th in the 800 meter with a time of 2:50.08 and 20th in the 400 meter with a time of 1:08.52. 

Virginia Reed (Rockford, Ill.) was the final Regent to score points on Saturday. Reed finished eighth in the triple jump with a distance of 8.51 meters. She also took 23rd in the long jump with a distance of 3.86 meters. 

Senior Nicole Melson (Harvard, Ill.) also had a good showing in her three events. Melson's highest finish came in the shot put where she placed 26th with a throw of 9.35 meters. She then finished 40th in the hammer with a distance of 30.94 meters and 41st in the discus with a throw of 25.56 meters.

The RU outdoor track and field teams return to competition next weekend at the Benedictine Relays.