Josh Pretska-Long Grove-St. Ambrose and Rene Nichols-Davenport-St. Ambrose 
©Fighting Bees Athletics 2019

Fighting Bees Off to a Great Start

Ashley Plumb-St. Ambrose and Abby Sears-Bettendorf-St. Ambrose ©Fighting Bees Athletics 2018

Ashley Plumb-St. Ambrose and Abby Sears-Bettendorf-St. Ambrose
©Fighting Bees Athletics 2018

Women

A balanced team effort and a national leading relay were just enough for the Fighting Bee women to win the Fighting Bee Opener.

Courtesy Fighting Bees Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Ashley Plumb-St. Ambrose and Abby Sears-Bettendorf-St. Ambrose @Fighting Bees Athletics 2018

 

The Bees tallied 155 points to beat Grand View (140), Augustana (107), Monmouth (47) and St. Francis (46) in the annual meet.

The women’s 4×800 relay, which has been an All-American relay for SAU each of the past two seasons, qualified to compete at another national championship.

Racing alone on the track, Abby Sears (SR/Bettendorf, Iowa), Ashley Plumb (SR/Macomb, Ill.), Claire Duncan(FR/Anamosa, Iowa) and Corrie Reiley (SR/Prophetstown, Ill.) finished in 9:39.94 which is the fastest time in the NAIA this season.

The group, minus Reiley, also poured on the points in the 800m run with Plumb winning, followed by Sears in third and Duncan in fourth.

The Bees had two more wins in distance events as Emma Duncan (FR/Anamosa, Iowa) notched her first college victory in the mile, out-kicking teammate Mallory Rettenmeier (SR/Aurora, Ill.) who took home silver.

Meg Grady led a Bees podium sweep in the 3,000m run, finishing in 11:04.88, less than 10 seconds ahead of Chloe Gunn(SR/Peoria, Ill.) in second and Jenny Dickes (JR/Cedar Rapids, Iowa) in third.

SAU had four other bronze medal performances on the track: Bridget Sulek (JR/Glen Ellyn, Ill.) in the 400m, Keeley Knobloch (SR/Moline, Ill.) in the 1,000m, Leah Rose (FR/Ocala, Fla.) in the 60m hurdles and the 4×400 relay of Sulek, Abby Camp (FR/Chillicothe, Ill.), Mackenzie Clary (FR/Prophetstown, Ill.) and Hana Hart.

In the field SAU was strong as well, having top three finishes in all but one event.

At the jumps, Abby Camp continued her stellar freshman season by being the top collegiate athlete in the triple jump. She then won a bronze medal in the long jump. Finishing right ahead of her in the long jump was Lani Hillard (SO/Muscatine, Iowa) in second place.

Alex Axup (SO/Rock Island, Ill.) leaped to a personal best of 3.25m (10-8) in the pole vault to finish third, while Mickey Hayes was also a bronze medal winner in the high jump.

Over at the throws ring, Brandi Crawley (FR/Milan, Ill.) was the highlight of the day, tossing a personal best of 11.53m (37-10) in the shot put.

“I love this meet because all of the teams here are very strong, full teams, with good coaches” SAU head coach Dan Tomlinsaid. “It brings out the best in us, and it’s very hard to find a meet this competitive to start the season.

“I’m very pleased with how we performed and I think that is a product of the athletes continuing to train hard over break and not take time off.”

Next up for the Bees is Wartburg’s Chlesey M Henkenius Open on January 19.

Men

The Fighting Bee men had their stars shining bright at the Fighting Bee Opener.

Courtesy Fighting Bees Athletics, click here!

 

SAU (93 points) finished third in the five team meet with Grand View (157) winning in front of Augustana (128), while Monmoth (70) was fourth and St. Francis (38) took fifth.

Returning All-American’s Josh Pestka (SR/Long Grove, Iowa) (5th in 1,000m run in 2018) and Rane Nichols (SR/Davenport, Iowa) (7th in 1,000m run in 2018, 5th in 4×400 relay in 2017) went first and third in the 1,000m run and were fast enough to punch their ticket to the NAIA Indoor National Championships.

The Bees other win came from sophomore Alec McEylea who leaped 6.96m (22-10) to take the win with another national qualifying performance.

Four Bees had runner-up finishes: Vance Bohlen (SR/Belle Plaine, Iowa) in the 60m dash, Matt Jung (FR/Tinley Park, Ill.) in the 3,000m run, Austin Robinson (FR/Aledo, Ill.) in the 60m hurdles and Justin Griser (FR/Hampton, Ill.) in the high jump. Bohlen, a junior, was the only non-freshmen of the silver medal-winning contingency.

All-American heptathlete Cole Connell (SR/Delmar, Iowa) won a bronze medal in the pole vault and Cam Edom(SO/Romeoville, Ill.) nearly had a lifetime best jump in the triple jump where he also scored a bronze medal.

“I don’t think you can find a better small college meet on this weekend,” SAU head coach Dan Tomlin said. “We competed very well and the outlook for the rest of the season is bright.

“Having those guys punch their ticket in the 1k makes the rest of the season a little easier planning wise. We can do some different things now and gear up for conference and nationals without having that worry hanging over us.”

Next up for the Bees is Wartburg’s Chlesey M Henkenius Open on January 19.