Marcus Newsom carried a huge box of T-shirts down the bleachers at Walston-Hoover Stadium long after the 2014 Wartburg Select had ended Saturday evening.
“We’re trying to give away as few of these (to other teams) as possible,” the Wartburg track and field head coach said as he made his way toward his teams gathered at midfield.
Each individual winner and relay winners at the meet get a T-shirt. Wartburg won 18 of 44 events, the most of any of the nine schools competing, including five relays.
The No. 2-ranked women’s team won 12 events and took the team title with 294.17 points while the 12th-ranked Wartburg men claimed six individual events and placed first with 188.75 points to open the outdoor track and field season.
“On the women’s side, I just think we’re trying to see where we’re at and what we’ve got to do ahead of us,” Newsom said. “I think we did a good job of that today.”
Kayla Hemann continued her dominance in the throwing events from the indoor season, winning both the shot put (45 feet, 8 inches) and discus (144 feet, 1 inch) and taking third in the hammer throw (138 feet, 5 inches).
The Knights featured five individual winners on the track including Libbey Schubert in the 400 meter dash (57.25) and Haddie Vawter in the 800 meter run (2:17.90).
Hurdlers Sarah Boraas and Tashina McAllister took the 100 (14.94) and 400 (1:01.96) meter events, respectively, while Sammi Bruett easily won the 3,000 meter steeplechase in 10:58.06.
“It feels amazing,” McAllister said of returning outside, where the sun was shining with 50-plus degree temperatures Saturday. “Obviously with indoor you don’t really have to worry about the weather, but as long as you have the right mindset going into the meet it’s not really a big deal. We got a beautiful day.”
Wartburg swept the relays, placing the top two teams in the 4×100, 4×400 and 4×800 and winning the shuttle hurdle relay as well.
McAllister led off both the winning 4×100 (48.05) and 4×400 (3:57.08) teams and has high hopes for the NCAA championships in late May.
“We can win them all,” she said.
Newsom was particularly impressed with Tatiana Silva and the rest of the multiers, who battled a fierce wind and near-freezing temperatures Friday and continued the events bright and early Saturday at 8 a.m.
Silva won the heptathlon with 4,076 points.
“I’m really proud of our multiers because day one was bad,” Newsom said. “They did a great job of trying to maintain their focus. (Saturday) it was definitely warmer but still a tough challenge.”
Colt Feltes carried the men to the team title as Wartburg edged Augustana by 33 points. Feltes won the shot put (56 feet, 4 inches) and hammer throw (158 feet, 5 inches) and placed second in the discus (146 feet, 9 inches).
His toss in the shot put set a new school record. The first person to congratulate him was former teammate Coltin Hahle, who competed unattached Saturday.
“Last year we got to the point where we were battling back and forth and sometimes we might have not liked each other, but now we have a really good relationship,” Feltes said. “He’s real supportive of me.”
“Colt, wow, what a meet he had today,” Newsom said.
Jonas Elusme won the long jump with a final leap of 22 feet, 7 1/4 inches.
On the track, two Knights won long distance events. Adam Best took the 5,000 meter run title in 15:12.77 while Sam Read won the 3,000 meter steeplechase with a time of 9:43.20.
Wartburg’s 4×800 meter relay team kicked off the running events with a first-place finish in 9:16.70.
So busy running the meet and passing out T-shirts, Newsom hadn’t had much of an opportunity to look over the results, but he knew exactly what to say to his team after a successful opening meet.
“I think even the returning All-Americans and national qualifiers, every last one of them has an opportunity to get better from today,” Newsom said. “That’s what it’s all about. That’s what we strive to do is get better at a high level.”
Women’s Team Standings
1. Wartburg (294.17), 2. Augustana (127), 3. Grand View (98), 4. UW-Platteville (87.83), 5. Loras (87.5), 6. UW-River Falls (51), 7. Buena Vista (50), 8. Dubuque (30.5), 9. Gustavus Adolphus (2)
Men’s Team Standings
1. Wartburg (188.75), 2. Augustana (145.75), 3. UW-Platteville (119.75), 4. Grand View (93.75), 5. Loras (77), 6. Dubuque (52), 7. Buena Vista (51), 8. Gustavus Adolphus (39.5), 9. UW-River Falls (32.5)