UNI Men's Track Team
©Panthers Athletics 2019

Panthers Dominate at Conference

Conner Ham-Solon-UNI ©Darren Miller/Panthers Athletics 2018

Conner Ham-Solon-UNI
©Darren Miller/Panthers Athletics 2018

The UNI men’s track and field team dominated the final day of the Missouri Valley Championship to cruise its second consecutive title and ninth in program history Sunday in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Courtesy Panthers Athletics, click here!  Feature photo: UNI Men’s Track Team©Panthers Athletics 2019

Four Panthers earned individual titles and 13 earned All-Conference honors on championship Sunday to bring the total to six individual titles and 22 total All-Conference awards on the weekend.

Head coach Dave Paulsen was named the MVC Men’s Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year.

The UNI men opened the day with a 10-point lead over second-place Illinois State. When the dust settled Sunday, the Panthers cruised to a 52-point win with 183.25 team points to Illinois State’s 131.25 points for second place.

The Panther women finished fourth with a team score of 100.5. Illinois State won the team title, Southern Illinois was second and Indiana State finished third.

Isaac Holtz won the discus with a throw of 179-feet to pick up his second All-Conference honor of the weekend.

Evan Long won the 400-meter dash with a time of 46.99 to lead a group of Panthers that took four of the top five spots and five of the top seven. Connor Blough also earned All-Conference honors after finishing second in the event with a time of 47.42.

Connor Ham won the 110-hurdles with a time of 14.06. Cole Phillips also earned All-Conference honors with a time of 14.32.

On the women’s side, Maddie McCalla defended her indoor 400-meter dash championship and won with a career-best time of 54.39.

Other All-Conference honors include Wal Khat who finished third in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 3:52:30.

Lyndsie Schinkel was second in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:08.84.

Carter VonEssen was third in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 53.30. Katie Nimrod finished third on the women’s side with a career-best time of 1:01.46.

Tayshaun Cooper finished third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.67.

In the relays, the men’s 4×100-meter relay team took second with a time of 41.02. The women’s 4×400 team finished third with a time of 3:48.10.

The UNI men’s 4×400-meter relay was cruising to victory with a significant lead and just over 100-meters left in the race when Blough went down with an injury.

A season ago, the Panthers won by just one point and it came down to the final event, but by the time the 4×400-meter relay rolled around Sunday, UNI had the team championship well in hand.

It is the first consecutive championship for the Panthers since they won three straight in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

UNI now prepares for the NCAA West Regional which will take place May 23-25 in Sacramento, California. Athletes in the top 48 in the region compete at the event.