Johnson Wins, Griffen Breaks Record as William Penn Returns to Action

Dubuque–The William Penn indoor track and field teams got back to work Saturday as they competed at the MOCO Mercer Invitational hosted by Dubuque.

The men placed third out of five teams with 47 points, while Loras won the title (208 points). The Statesmen women were fifth out of five teams with seven points; Loras completed the sweep of the trophies with 231.5 points.

Showalter Johnson (So., Nassau, Bahamas, Business Management) and Keaton Griffen (Fr., Longview, Texas) headlined the day with big performances.

Johnson took home the 60-meter dash title in 6.87 seconds, while Griffen placed third in the pole vault, but more importantly broke the school’s pole vault record with a height of 13-11.25. The old record of 13-6 had been owned by Lloyd Nelson since 1999.

A trio of Statesmen garnered a pair of top-10 finishes each, led by Justin Moeller (Sr., Keota, Iowa, Psychology) finishing third in both the 60-meter hurdles (8.71 seconds) and the high jump (6-2).

Tom Nyandoro (So., Wake Forest, N.C., Computer Science) claimed bronze in the triple jump at 42-0.75 and was fifth in the 60-meter hurdles in 8.93 seconds, while Jasper Stottlemyer (Sr., Council Bluffs, Iowa, Sociology) topped the throwers with a sixth-place showing in the weight throw (51-11) and a seventh-place effort in the shot put (46-8.25).

Jaden Loveless (So., Des Moines, Iowa, Industrial Technology) was the next-highest finisher, taking fourth in the 600-meter run (1:28.41), while Jonah Heckenberg (Jr., Stockport, Iowa, Business Management) was fifth in the 1,000-meter run (2:36.14). Not far behind Heckenberg was Brandon Williams (Fr., Fountain, Colo., Civil Engineering) in seventh (2:41.32) and Ethan Varvelo (So., Channelview, Texas, Engineering) in eighth (2:46.37).

Max Finley (Fr., Richville, N.Y., Secondary Education) matched Heckenberg’s placing, also ending up fifth in the one-mile run in a time of 4:29.80.

Johnny Fisher (Fr., Laporte, Colo.) placed sixth in the 200-meter dash (23.15), while Jeremiah Conteh (Jr., Shorewood, Wis., English) was also in the top 10 (eighth) for the weight throw (48-1.75).

Jace Lukefahr (Sr., Newton, Iowa, Mechanical Engineering) (11th, weight throw, 45-5.25), Tahj Ferguson (Sr., Hartford, Conn.) (12th, 60-meter dash, 7.18), and Nick Richardson-Jackson (Sr., Germantown, Md.) (18th, 60-meter dash, 7.30) were in the top half of their respective events as well.

Alexandra Rose (Jr., Quincy, Ill., Exercise Science) blazed the women’s trail, taking sixth in the 60 (8.14) and 12th in the 200 (28.50).

Abigaille Batu-Tiako (Jr., Plattsburgh, N.Y.) was fifth in the 60 hurdles (10.05), while Layla Harris (Fr., Muskegon, Mich.) was next in the event in 10.75 seconds (10.55 in the prelims).

Raven Williams (Sr., Las Vegas, Nev.) was William Penn’s best representative in the 200 in 27.35 seconds, while Tabitha Rogers (So., Venice, Calif., Elementary Education) placed 13th in 28.54.

“This was a good competition to knock the rust off from break,” Head Coach Allen Friesen said. “We had some really good performances, headed by Showalter Johnson and Keaton Griffen.”

Next Up: William Penn will send some individuals to Pella next Thursday and Friday for the Central Heptathlon, while the majority of the roster will head to Grinnell next Saturday for the Grinnell Invitational.

Posted by on Jan 22 2023. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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