Independence was one of just two Division III school to compete at the Trinity Invitational at Bedford Bearcat Stadium on Friday.
Despite their size, the Blue Devils turned in a strong performance.
“A large meet like the one in Friday really benefits a few of our athletes,” said senior Mason Crist, who finished second in the pole vault and sixth in both the 110-meter hurdles and long jump. “We have a handful of runners, throwers, and jumpers who need higher competition to push us to PR. I am one of those athletes. When there is someone running faster than me or jumping farther than me, it gives me the push I need to compete well. Larger meets help me to focus on the big picture and realize what state of mind I need to be in to compete at the best of my ability this postseason.”
Crist finished the 110 hurdles in 16.15 and cleared 18-feet, 11-inches in the long jump. He cleared 11-feet in the pole vault to finish behind teammate Robert Artrip, a junior, who set a PR of 13-feet, 1-inch to win the event.
“I would’ve liked to pick up a little more distance on my long jump and cut a little more time from my 110s,” Crist said. “I’m not satisfied with my performances and I never will be. I was told in youth track, ‘the moment you become satisfied with your performances is the moment your career is over.’ I will continue to strive for longer and higher jumps and faster times in my running events.”
Artrip also finished sixth in the shot put (41-4.25) and seventh in the discus (121-11). Sophomore Luke Clymer finished third in the shot (42-4.5) and fifth in the discus (129-11).
Senior Christina Brunsman had a strong day for the Independence girls as she finished seventh in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:05.67 and also ran a leg in the 4×800-meter relay, which finished fifth with a time of 10:45.94.
Freshman Makenna McGhee, sophomore Emily Skoczen, and freshman Paige Westerburg also competed in the 4×8.
“I was not very satisfied with my placing,” Brunsman said. “My times were not as good as they usually are and at this point in the season. I should be shooting for personal records each time I compete. Even though the meet was tough, it provided our team and me with some great competition that will push us harder against a league meet. I think with the weather being nice in the upcoming weeks, this will also help the team dramatically for conference and districts.”
Skoczen finished eighth in the 800 (2:36.44) and McGhee was sixth in the 32-00 (12:45.60).
Freshman Willow Crist placed eighth in the 100-meter hurdles (18.99) and juniors Sam Richardson and Lauren St. Andrew tied for seventh in the high jump (4-3). Junior Emma Wensink took seventh in the pole vault (7-6) and senior Martha Clymer placed in both the shot put and discus. She finished fifth in the shot (30-04) and seventh in the discus (84-5).
The Blue Devils host the Dan Potopsky Invitational on Tuesday.