February 28, 2019 / Trailblazers set to compete at Indoor Nationals
PITTSBURG, Kan. - All season the Vincennes University men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams have competed in meets dominated by NCAA programs.
The Trailblazers have held their own in those meets, now they have the opportunity to shine among the best in the same class.
“The majority of our team are freshmen so it’s really exciting to see the results we have this season,” first-year Trailblazers coach Randy Heisler said.
A total of 22 Trailblazers will be competing in the NJCAA Indoor National Championships March 1-2 inside the Robert W. Plaster Center. The meet will also include a very special former VU student-athlete athlete. Five-time national champion Natalia Bartnovskaya Price will be inducted into the NJCAA Track and Field Coaches Association Hall of Fame during a ceremony on March 1.
Among the national qualifiers are a trio of Trailblazers who have etched their names in the men’s record books.
Milan Todorovic is the new record holder in the 1,000 meter run with a time of 2 minutes, 29.05 seconds. The record is two seconds better than Jose Cano Pallares time of 2:31.1 set two years ago.
Todorovic’s time is good enough for the No. 3 seed going into the national meet this weekend.
Jaien Webster broke the VU record in the 60 hurdles in the Trailblazers last meet at Eastern Illinois University. His time of 8.05 seconds broke Pierre Banks time of of 8.09 set in 2011.
Webster is seeded fourth this weekend.
And perhaps the most impressive record breaker belongs to Silas Ristl. The freshman thrower broke a 27-year record in the shot put with his first throw of the season and has continued to shatter the record.
Jeff Brandenburg previously held the record with a mark of 16.75 meters in 1992. Ristl’s mark stands at 17.82m which has earned him the No. 1 seed this weekend.
Tony Capalo has also enjoyed a successful season for the Trailblazers with numerous Top-5 finishes in the pole vault.
Capalo is seeded fifth with a mark of 4.6m.
Alfred Stubbs qualified in both the shot put and the weight throw.
Stubbs is seeded sixth in the weight throw with a mark of 17.9m and is 18th in the shot put with a best mark of 15.11m.
Josh Kinser (15.7m) and James Smith (15.56m) are seeded 12th and 13th, respectively in the weight throw.
“Our throwers have done a nice job all season,” the VU coach said. “They all have qualified for the finals in just about every meet this season. And Josh is our resident marine who is probably the strongest guy in school. The kid bench presses 605 pounds. The kids joke around that we need to get shirt made which say ‘Strong Like Josh’ and get him a t-shirt saying ‘I am Josh.’ He was never an athlete in high school but now he is going to the national championships."
Raymond Mix is seeded 14th in the triple jump with a mark of 14.26m.
“Good for Raymond,” Heisler said. “It’s kind of crazy he was able to make it because we do not have a sand pit here for him to practice. So his training is basically just being in really good shape. But when he gets to the meet he has no problem hitting the boards and his technique is really good.”
Nickolas Riggles and Josh Hodge round out the Trailblazer men for individual events.
Riggles will join Webster in the 60 hurdles and is seeded 27th, while Hodge is seeded 32nd in the 800.
The Trailblazers also qualified a trio of relay teams.
They will compete in the 1,600 relay, 3,200 relay and Distance Medley Relay.
Todorovic, Hodge, Seth Vaquero, Josh Hodge, David McCullough and Cambrin Dixon will all be in the mix for the relay.
“A lot of those guys are all interchangeable so we will just see who all is healthy and who we end up going with in those events,” Heiser mentioned.
The Trailblazers are seeded 10th in the 3,200 relay, 16th in the DMR and 25th in the 1,600 relay.
On the women’s side, Jazzmine Poole is the only individual competing. The freshman enters the weight throw as the 17th seed with a mark of 12.13m.
The Lady ‘Blazers will also compete in a pair of relays -- 3,200 and DMR.
Taylin Brandenberg, Liz Bredeweg, Kaylee Lange and Heaven Kirkseywill run the relays with Asia Mclemore being an alternate.
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