Women’s Track and Field captures championship

Peter Lujan

Sports Editor


It’s been a big week for Ohio Wesleyan’s women’s track and field team.

Junior Courtney Owens won the North Coast Atlantic Conference indoor pentathlon on Feb. 23 in a meet at Oberlin College, scoring 3,388 points and smashing the previous record of 3,135 points held by Emily Brown (’18).

And this past weekend the team won the NCAC championship meet at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, topping Oberlin College 175-to-167, as senior Cirrus Robinson repeated as conference champion in high jump and the 400-meter dash.  It was Robinson’s fourth straight NCAC title for the high jump.

Complete results, including the success of the other members of the team, can be found here.

Also in recognition of the team’s performances, the NCAC named coach Kris Boey “Coach of the Year,” the 30th  time he’s earned that recognition and his 10th time for coaching women’s track and field.

Boey was brimming with confidence before the weekend meet.

“This team can be a championship team,” Boey said. “We simply have to be us.”

The week started off with the record-breaking win for Owens, who was also confident about the team’s overall chances to nab championship this past weekend.

“When we are at our best, no one can touch us,” Owens said. “It will come down to everyone making the decision to be at their best, putting it all on the line for the win.”

Boey said he cautions his team never to look too far to the future and did the same with Owens before she broke the school record.

“One event at a time. After she completed the last event we knew it was enough.  We were thrilled for her,” Boey said.  “I told her that persistence pays.”

During last Sunday’s meet, Owens was informed that she would have to make some serious changes to her pace if she wanted to make history.

“My coach had told me … if I wanted to win, break the school record and qualify for nationals, I had to run a 2:30,” Owens said. “This was fairly ambitious for me because it would require me to drop 8 seconds off my time, but he believed I could do it.”

Owens embraced that belief and also won the 60-meter hurdles over last weekend. She acknowledged the support she received from her peers for all of her wins.

“I took one of the biggest risks I ever have while doing this sport and the reward made it so worth it,” Owens said. “I feel humbled and grateful that I have coaches who push me so I can push myself.”

While Owens has achieved plenty of individual success, she has also helped lead and inspire her team with her talent and by helping teammates focus on a common goal.

“Courtney is the best overall athlete in the conference as the NCAC champion in the pentathlon with a national level performance,” Boey said. “She can take her talents in those individual event components to make an impact in a wide variety of ways.  Courtney has become a leader, and is helping gather our team around a vision.”

Coaches Corner: Kris Boey

By Aleksei Pavloff, Sports Editor

It’s now the spring season and the track and field team is ready to take the momentum from the winter into the new season.

Q: What is the attitude heading into this spring season?

A: The team’s attitude and purpose is excel- lent going into the outdoor season. We are building on a successful indoor season and as always we expect to be our best in May as the track and eld season culminates.

Q: What is the goal as a team this season?

A: Our goal is for each individual to improve and perform to the best of their capabilities and contribute to the overarching team goals. It’s a combination of individual achievements that allow the team to reach it’s full potential.

Q: What are the expectations heading into the spring season?

A: The expectations are to continue building the good work we’ve been doing all season and represent OWU in the best possible manner.

Q: Who, from Ohio Wesleyan, should people keep an eye out for?

A; In order to have the kind of team success that we are striving for, every team member will need to play an important role.

Q: Will we see another national championship performance from Robinson?

A:Cirrus has achieved a great deal in her rst season, and I believe she is far from her ceiling. My hope is that she enjoys the process and works towards her goals. If that is her mindset, then she will certainly be in a position to accomplish great things into the future.

Q: What events will Ohio Wesleyan be strong in?

A: We pride ourselves on being a complete, well-rounded team.

Bishop’s training to win, again

By Matt Maier, Transcript Reporter

Following a first place victory last year in the NCAC championship, the Ohio Wesleyan track team is looking forward to continuing on the success they have had in the past.

“I enjoy the new challenges that each season brings,” said head coach Kris Boey. “While there is a great tradition, I am excited about the future. I am looking forward to seeing who will fill the shoes of the seniors who graduated last year.”

In the offseason, the track team had a new addition as Ben Carlson was named the head coach of the men and women’s cross country teams, as well as the assistant coach of the men and women’s track and field teams.

“It’s been a great transition to OWU,” Carlson said. “It’s always tough leaving a group of people, but I’m thankful for the opportunity at OWU. The students and the coaching staff have been fantastic in their reception.”

To prepare for the season, the team has been training since October in hopes to win the events they are scheduled for this season.

“We have been training together since Oct. 31 and to prepare for our various events, we have been comprehensive in our manner,” said Boey. “Each year I want our student athletes to improve, experience success and to have fun. We always expect to be at the top of the conference and region.”

Spring Spotlight: Ahmed Abdel Halim

Ahmed Abdel Halim. Photo courtesy of battlingbishops.com.
Ahmed Abdel Halim. Photo courtesy of battlingbishops.com.

Ross Hickenbottom, Sports Editor

Olivia Lease, Online Editor

Track athlete Ahmed Abdel Halim starts off his senior season on a high, being named athlete of the week twice already and taking home gold in the three competitions he has participated in.

Halim is in his fourth year of competing in the triple jump for the Bishops. He has increased his personal best every track season.

In high school, Halim played six sports. Yes, six of them, but triple jump wasn’t a part of his athletic arsenal back then, just high jump. He had participated in track first when he lived in England, and since then stayed with it.

He said, “I really wanted to focus on track to see what my potential could be if I put absolutely everything into it.”

Halim is currently the top-ranked triple jumper in the state of Ohio and third in the United States for Division III schools. He said, “It’s just a huge honor to be in the position I’m in at this point and I want to capitalize on this opportunity I have in front of me.”

He said he hopes to ultimately qualify in the long jump and triple, and go on to win in the triple jump on the national stage.

So far, Halim is reaching that goal seeing as he broke a school record on March 26 at the Cedarville Yellow Jacket Collegiate Outdoor Open.  On his first triple jump of the day, he turned in a 47-9¾, which helped win the event and break the school record of 47-7¼ set by Craig Neeley in 2000.

Coach Kris Boey is in his 14th season as head track coach at Ohio Wesleyan, where he has witnessed plenty of successful track athletes and says that Halim is ” definitely a team player. He personifies what we would want from any of our athletes. He cares as much, if not more about others success, compared to his.”

Assistant Coach Seth McGuffin said he has seen Halim grow as an athlete since his freshman year.

OWU track and field just won the indoor conference title for the first time since 2010 and McGuffin said, “Ahmed was a huge part in that and it will carry over for us this outdoor season as we look to win the outdoor title.” He said he is proud of Halim for earning the title of All-American honors indoors since that has been a goal his whole career.

Words used to describe Halim from his coaches, whom are around Halim more than most, are, “persistent, hard-working and passionate.”

The same sort of compliments on behalf of Halim were given by his teammate and friend, Aaron Port, a fellow senior track athlete, who said, “the guy is just day in and day out with taking care of his body so that he can perform to his full potential and being one of the hardest workers as well.”

Port added, “Not only does he worry about himself though, he is always reaching out to help other people on the team. The record and NCAA championship aren’t out of the picture.”

Along with the team’s success, Halim looks to continue his own, as the indoor season progresses and the outdoor season approaches.

The men’s track and field team will compete next at the All-Ohio Division III Championship on April 16, in Selby Stadium on the George Gauthier Track.

Halim is majoring in international studies and minoring in religion. His hometown is Cairo, Egypt but he grew up in England until moving to Toledo, Ohio. His parents now reside in Sparks, Nevada.

The art of the OWU relay

Freshman sprinter Quentin Broomfield watches junior sprinter Colin McShane take the baton during the 1600-meter relay at their recent Triangular meet.
Freshman sprinter Quentin Broomfield watches junior sprinter Colin McShane take the baton during the 1600-meter relay at their recent Triangular meet. Photo by Leia Mizas.

Julia Snyder, Transcript Reporter

Running in a relay is considered an honor in track and field at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Kris Boey has been the head coach of the  track and field team for the past 14 years. He said that having a strong relay team says a great deal because it shows the depth and quality of the team.

“Relays are fun, they’re exciting and they’re something that, as a team, we put a premium on because it makes a strong statement of your team and the culture should be that you earn your way onto a relay,” Boey said. “It’s a desirable thing. We take pride in that.”

There are several different relay events for outdoor and indoor track, but the same distances and strategies are used for the boys and girls.

There are three different relays in outdoor track: a 4×200-meter relay, 4×400-meter relay and a distance medley. There are only two relays for outdoor track: a 4×100 and 4×400-meter relay.

“The 4×100 is a pure sprint. It’s the trickiest because a hundredth of a second matters and exchanges have to be perfect,” Boey said. “It’s an extremely exciting race.”

Junior Colin McShane said, “The 4×4 is the most fun event for me because it’s the very last event of the track meet, and usually big meets come down to whoever wins the 4×4. To be a member of that relay is special because the whole team is watching you and depending on you guys to run well and basically win the meet.”

A distance medley consists of four runners who run 1200 m, 400 m, 800 m and 1600 m, respectively.

“The distance medley is unique because of the four different distances. The exchanges can be a little tricky because runners are coming in at different speeds,” Boey said. “It becomes really strategic on where you put your people.”

There are many variables that go into choosing runners for a relay. Boey said that he wants the type of person who wants to have the baton in their hand, someone who is very team-oriented.

Both McShane and senior Sara Johnson agree that running a relay is less pressure and more fun.

“For a relay, I don’t get nervous,” Johnson said. “You’re not in the blocks, you’re like chasing someone and it’s with three other girls, so it’s more fun that way.”

McShane said, “When you’re on a relay, it really brings in the team aspect of the sport. I always run better in a relay because you feel like the guys depend on you more. My other roommate, Adam [Turner], has run the 4×4 with me since I was a freshman. It makes it more fun to do a relay with somebody you’re really good friends with.”

Sophomore Griffin Peyton  is new to the team.

Peyton said, “Running a relay really establishes our team motto, ‘we stand alone, together,’ which is nice. I like that.”


Track and field head to conferences with stellar record

Coach Kris Boey. Photo courtesy of the Connect2OWU website.
Coach Kris Boey. Photo courtesy of the Connect2OWU website.

Men’s and women’s track teams conquer their fifth first place victory at the Kenyon College Classic and prepare for conferences.

Seven teams competed at Kenyon on Feb 21. Both the men’s and women’s teams came in first.

Although they have had a very successful season so far, coach Kris Boey said, “They look at every meet as an opportunity to improve.”

“Usually after a big meet, we give athletes some time off. They also work on their secondary event verses their primary,” said Boey. The NCAC championship will take place on March 6 and 7. “The women’s team is hoping to win their ninth straight title,” said Boey.

Junior Aaron Port. Photo courtesy of battlingbishops.com.
Junior Aaron Port. Photo courtesy of battlingbishops.com.

Junior Aaron Port said, “There have been lots of personal bests early in the season and we are really stepping things up in time for the conference and national meets.” Port competes in the heptathlon and the decathlon events.

Boey explained, “The very special team dynamic is a large part of our teams success. Each athlete believes that they are a part of something bigger than their selves.”

“Morale is extremely high as both teams are having great success early in the year and are both looking to take home the conference titles,” said Port. “We have a lot of young talent this year and they are contributing in a big way.”

Junior Abbey Warth. Photo courtesy of battlingbishops.com.
Junior Abbey Warth. Photo courtesy of battlingbishops.com.

As for the remainder of the season, junior Abbey Warth said “I am hoping to keep seeing big improvements from everyone on the team, and a big showing at the NCAC conference meet. It would be great if we could see quite a few of us at the national meet and represent OWU well but, we are more of an outdoor based program, and will probably see a much bigger showing at the outdoor NCAA meet.”

Boey said throughout the past five years, their “recruiting style really hasn’t changed. We are at a point that we recruit very aggressively. It is a competitive market and we are building personal relationships. Although our past record helps recruit, we cannot completely rely on it.”

Track and field break records, enjoy success

Freshman Amanda Clay. Photo courtesy of battlingbishops.com.
Freshman Amanda Clay. Photo courtesy of battlingbishops.com.

Olympic legend Mark Spitz once said, “Records are meant to broken.” The Ohio Wesleyan women’s track and field team has proven that Spitz was right.

Freshman Amanda Clay has already broke two OWU school records. At the Spire Midwest Indoor Track and Field Open on Jan. 31, Clay set an individual record in the 60-meter dash and helped set a team record in the 1600-meter relay.

“There were teams from all over the country and through every division at the Spire meet,” Clay said. “That high level of competition I think really helped drive me to run my fastest and perform as well as I did. I found out after preliminaries that some of the women competing were trying to qualify for the Olympics, so it was really cool to face that level of competition.

Clay ran the 60-meter dash in 8.01 seconds, and the four person team of Clay, senior Katie Reid, junior Abbey Warth and sophomore Sierra Wright finished the 1600-meter relay in 4 minutes and 0.82 seconds.

“For me this is the first year I’ve run the 60-meter dash,” Clay said. “To see my times improve so much in practice has been really encouraging.”

Thus far both the men’s and women’s track and field teams have come in first place in all four scored events of the season, successes which they want to build on for the rest of the season.

“Now really is the time we emphasize working hard so we can peak at conferences and nationals,” sophomore sprinter/hurdler MaryKate Caja said. “So the fact that we are already having people break records really speaks to the quality of athletes we have on this team.”

The recent success of both Clay and the entire team has led to them receiving a top ten Division III ranking. According to the weekly ranking released by d3rankings.us, OWU is ranked No. 9 overall and as the highest ranked team within the Great Lakes region.

According to Caja, much of the team’s success can be attributed to their depth, which helps earn secondary points and boost their point total and climb the rankings.

Clay added not only is there depth, but a strong spread throughout all of the event groups.

“Everyone realizes that they can contribute in some way, and as a result we have gotten great performances across the board from everyone,” she said.

The goal for the team is to continue working hard and improve everyone’s times enough to qualify for the All-Ohio and NCAA National Championship events. Clay has the personal goal of beating her OWU record and running the 60-meter dash in less than 8 seconds.

Some highlights to look forward to for the Bishops include the OWU Open on Feb.13 and the NCAC Championship in Greencastle, Indiana on March 6-7.

Freshman standout gains momentum

Freshman Emily Brown
Freshman Emily Brown

Ohio Wesleyan freshman exceeds expectations and leaps past competition to stand out at the OWU Triangular track meet on Friday.

Emily Brown, a freshman from New Concord, Ohio, won the long jump, 200-meter race and played a part in the 800-meter relay victory at the event in Gordon Field House. Brown completed the 200-meter dash with a time of 27.69 seconds and jumped 5.15 meters to win in the long jump.

“Long jump is my absolute favorite,” Brown said.  “I’ve just always liked it and it’s my best event.”

Coach Kris Boey was pleased with Brown’s performance as well as the team’s, especially after a long break from training.

“Emily is off to an outstanding start, but the best is yet to come for her,” Boey said.  “The same can be said for our team as a whole.”

College coaches contacted Brown at the end of her junior year of high school. That is when she became interested in OWU.

“When I came to visit, I liked how the team actually came together and was more of a family,” Brown said. “I liked the environment.”

Teammate Amy Greenwood, a junior, sees the potential in Brown.

“[Brown] had a personal record at her first collegiate meet,” Greenwood said. “She has a good shot to break some school records.”

Even as a freshman, Brown has some impressive goals for the rest of the season. “I want to (personal record) in everything,” she said. “At least get better after each meet.”

But having personal records alone is not enough for Brown. She also has visions for her team’s success.

“Our seniors this year are going for the grand slam for the fourth time,” Brown said. “That would be pretty cool.”

A grand slam is achieved when the team wins both indoor and outdoor conferences and all the events in Ohio.