Season in Review: All-America Award Highlights Season Cut in Half

Oskaloosa–The William Penn track and field programs were only able to compete in their indoor seasons, but successes were still had in the shortened campaign.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Statesmen were denied an opportunity to get back to action outdoors. The indoor season still witnessed the navy and gold win numerous events and meets, while also extending their coveted All-America streak to 11 national tournaments on the men’s side.

The indoor campaign began in early December at the St. Ambrose Frigid Bee Classic. The men had an especially spectacular day, showing their potential with a first-place finish as a team, holding off rival Grand View by one point.

Four individuals eclipsed qualifying standards, led by Sage Ehresman (Sr., Sully, Iowa, Exercise Science) who hit the ‘A’ mark with a shot put of 53-0.25.

Joel Brown (So., Columbus, Ga.) managed a ‘B’ time in the 60-meter dash at 6.89 seconds, while Mason Aschenbrenner (Jr., Ottumwa, Iowa) debuted for the Statesmen with a ‘B’ mark and school-record 60-meter hurdles time of 8.31 seconds.

Mofiyinfoluwa Alade (Jr., Hoffman Estates, Ill.) was also a provisional qualifier, going 6-7 in the high jump.

The female crew was strong as well with Shaniah Newby (Fr., Twentynine Palms, Calif.) winning the 60 (7.94 seconds) and the 200-meter dash (26.47 seconds) in her collegiate debut. Ashlee Johnson (Fr., Marshalltown, Iowa, Sociology) also topped an event, taking the 800-meter run in 2:42.26.

The teams then went home for winter break, returning to competition in mid-January at the Doane Ward Haylett Invitational.

In a very competitive field, Ehresman headlined the navy and gold with a bronze in the shot put, while Newby was also third in both the 60 and the 200.

The following week, WPU headed west down I-163 to Pella for the Central Dutch Athletics Classic where Ehresman and Tristen Elmore (Sr., Ovied, Fla.) each won titles. Elmore made it five national qualifiers with his high jump of 6-9. Shelbie Williams (Jr., Hedrick, Iowa) also walked off with a gold in the shot put at 41-10, while the women’s 4×400-meter relay team won their event in a time of 4:21.42.

The Grand View Field Meet was next on the schedule and Ehresman shone brightest with a shot put title. Alade shared the high jump crown, while Williams guided the women with a runner-up effort in the shot put.

William Penn dominated the men’s 60-meter dash at the Grinnell Invitational as it claimed the top three finishers (Brown with the win). The 60 hurdles was also a strong area for the Statesmen as freshman Loubert Dagrin won the competition in his collegiate debut. Alade (high jump), Yasin Mohammed (Fr., Laurel, Md.) (triple jump, 41-9.75), and the distance medley relay team all took first place as well.

Carl’Asia Spikes (Fr., Orlando, Fla.) earned gold in the 60 in 8.19, while Katherine Hunter (So., Bloomfield, Iowa) placed first as well in the 60 hurdles in 9.89 seconds.

Dagrin was also exceptional at the Northwest Missouri State Bearcat Open as he was second in the 60 hurdles. A few other Statesmen men were in the top 10 as well, while Williams was the top female placer by taking sixth in the shot put.

In the final warm-up prior to the league meet (Concordia Invitational), Ehresman was seventh in the shot put, while Zac Jackson-Richardson (Jr., Germantown, Md.) was 13th in the 200. Kayla Music (So., Corpus Christi, Texas) paced the women with a 12th-place finish in the 200.

William Penn unfortunately had a disappointing go at the Heart of America Athletic Conference Championships with both sides taking ninth in the team standings.

Newby was the best competitor as she not only placed fourth in the 200, but did so in a school-record time of 25.79 seconds.

Alade headlined the men with a silver in the shot put, while Brown was third in the 60 and Dagrin was fourth in the 60 hurdles.

The indoor season concluded in early March. An all-men’s squad successfully extended its All-America streak as Ehresman placed seventh in the shot put with a school-record toss of 53-5.5. Joel Brown also competed in the 60 and finished 20th in 6.93 seconds. Alade cleared one height in the high jump competition before going out at 6-5 to tie for 18th.

WPU has now earned an at least one All-America award at 11 consecutive national championship meets.

“The season did not end up like we had hoped, but the bright spot was keeping the All-America streak alive, while establishing a new indoor record in the process,” Head Coach Allen Friesen said. “We were encouraged in the direction the team was heading going into outdoor season, but unfortunately it was not meant to be. I, along with the coaching staff, join the seniors in their disappointment in not being able to compete in their last season.”

Posted by on May 19 2020. 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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