Updated: Apr 22
Belmont student-athletes broke a new slate of school records in track and field’s second weekend of competition.
While the majority of the team competed at the Ole Miss Classic in Oxford, Mississippi, some distance runners raced at North Carolina State University’s highly competitive Raleigh Relays on Thursday and Friday.
The team impressively added a couple program records and several PRs across the board during the weekend.
Over in Raleigh, sophomore Ethan Hammer shattered his personal best by nine seconds in the 5,000-meter race Thursday, placing 14th in his heat and finishing the 12.5 laps in 14:31:18.
On the women’s side, freshman Kaitlyn Vanderkolk also broke her 5,000-meter indoor PR by 13 seconds with a time of 17:11:77, finishing third of 18 in her heat Friday.
Other standouts from the North Carolina races were sophomore Brooke Garter and junior Katie Flaherty, both of whom set new PRs with their finishes.
Meanwhile in the Magnolia State, several more Bruins put up notable results in their field events.
In Friday’s only event — the hammer throw — senior Jessica Mattsson shattered another school record with a 61.66-meter mark in the invitational contest.
The highly competitive event featured several All-Americans and even a few professional athletes; Mattsson, the reigning Ohio Valley Conference winner in the hammer throw, placed eighth overall.
“Jessica had a fantastic series today, including three school record-breaking throws, which tells me she has a very bright season ahead of her,” assistant coach Joe Frye said to Belmont Athletics of the senior from Västland, Sweden.
“The progress she’s made since her freshman year is astounding, and she’s sacrificed a lot for this sport. I’m so glad she is getting a chance to see her hard work pay off.”
Continuing the momentum into Saturday, the Bruins took part in 12 events throughout the day.
Bo Miller throws a javelin Saturday at Ole Miss. Jessica Mattsson / Belmont Vision
Of those events, senior thrower Bo Miller, along with his brother sophomore Ben Miller, started it off in impressive fashion. Bo placed second in the javelin throw with a 58.06-meter throw and Ben set a new PR with his 47.51-meter throw.
“Bo is closing in on his throw, but he just wasn’t all the way there today,” Frye said. “It’s still good to see his averages going up this season and it’s just a matter of time until he breaks out.”
Also in the javelin event, senior Griffin Hodge threw for an impressive 50.25-meters, claiming eighth on the day.
Next up was the men’s pole vault event where sophomore Aidan Dinsbeer tied his PR to clear 4.50-meters on his second height, finishing 13th out of 26 jumpers.
Dinsbeer also competed in the long jump, coming away with a 6.46-meter mark.
Jumper Aidan Dinsbeer vaulting Saturday at Ole Miss. Jessica Mattsson / Belmont Vision
On the women’s side, senior Morgan Louderback put up notable results and despite trouble hitting the board still found her way to the finals, recording her farthest long jump of 5.42-meters.
Sophomore Rebekah Stucker had an impressive day in the shot put event where she shattered the school record by nearly a meter with her 15.26-meter throw, stealing a fifth place finish in the highly competitive event.
Fellow sophomore Olivia Moyer had a strong day as well, logging 12.79 meters in the same event.
In other field events, senior Tyra Finkeldey placed sixth in the pole vault with a 3.88-meter jump, coming just a centimeter shy of her own outdoor school record.
In Saturday’s track events, senior Caroline Pruitt and sophomore Michella Diebenow put up high-placing performances.
Finishing with a time of 1:03.05 in the 400-meter race, Pruitt placed third in the event as Diebenow finished sixth with a 1:04:18 PR.
On the men’s side of the event, junior Garrett Horowitz crossed the finish line with a PR of 56.38.
In the 800-meter, junior Wyatt Womack also ran a new personal best in 1:56.08.
After an impressive indoor season, freshman sprinter Emily Moore clocked a 24.42 finish in the 200-meter race, finishing third of 37.
After the two successful meets, the team will compete at Western Kentucky University’s Hilltopper Relays Apr. 1-2 before heading back to Ole Miss for the Joe Walker Invite on Apr. 8-9.
PHOTO: Rebekah Stucker in the shot put ring at the Ole Miss Classic, exceeding her own program record by close to a meter. Jessica Mattsson / Belmont Vision
This article was written by A.J. Wuest.