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The night was dreary, but the results promising as Georgetown College men's and women's track team traveled to Ohio for the Night Moves Meet.
The men finished sixth overall, third among NAIA schools, with 10 teams competing. The women finished fifth, third among NAIA schools, against the same 10 programs.
"We had three weather delays, which started and stopped the field events," said coach Lucas Garnett. "The track events started an hour late because of all the rain and the meet ended around 1 am. It was a long day, but very successful. Everyone keeps improving."
The Tigers had several personal records and season bests Friday in Ohio.
Karina Egger, Alec Higdon-Burgess, Kaya Kelly, Kristen Just, Ben Peterson, Dustin Wheeler and Kater Riddle all set new personal records.
Georgetown College men's and women's track and field went up against four NCAA opponents this past weekend at the Mount St. Joseph Invitational. The Tiger men finished third out of the five teams, while the women were third out of six.
"It was a great weekend and a great fourth meet for us," said GC coach Lucas Garnett. "We've been at such large meets the first few weekends that I think some of our athletes were losing focus on what they are truly accomplishing this season. This weekend helped to fix some of that."
The women scored 111 points, 45 points ahead of the next closest opponent. Tayler Godar tallied individual wins in the 1500-meter and 800-meter runs. Stacking points in the longer race, Sydney Berry, Courtney Lee and Kater Riddle also finish in the top seven runners. Also scoring in the 800 was Karina Egger and Kristen Just. Riddle set a new personal record – one of 16 by 10 different Tigers Saturday – in the 800.
Elements are an interesting factor in athletics. Spring sports deal with it most often in this part of the country as storm systems can change the weather in a blink of an eye. This was the case Saturday as wind gusts shifted and increased throughout the day making it interesting for the 35-plus teams in the Centre Invitational in Danville, Ky.
Georgetown College's track and field teams saw a dip in scores – which will happen when more athletes are in the field, increasing the heats for championship contention and narrowing the field quicker.
However, the women's team still had a solid showing with a 10th place finish in 17 teams, and the men did well, but struggled to score points in finishing 18th.
Georgetown College track and field opened the season Saturday at the Pioneer Invitational in Lexington, Ky. In true essence of what these teams have become under first-year head coach Luke Garnett, the team donned purple in support of epilepsy awareness' Purple Day. While touching lives, the Tiger men and women also showed great promise for the 2016 season. GC's women finished eighth with 50 points and the men were 11th with 30 points.
"It was a great day all the way around," Garnett said. "Every member was on board with supporting awareness as we've had team members directly affected by epilepsy as well as friends of the team. We showed our support and also passed out information to help other coaches and athletes know techniques to helping someone during a seizure.
"In competition, the athletes continued to do Georgetown proud with a couple of personal and school records. What a way to start the season."
Georgetown's team is small in numbers compared to others at most meets, but it is always about stacking points in everything you do. Graham Smith, competing in his first ever track meet, got things rolling right when his javelin throw of 45.47 meters landed him second. Joshua Copley made his Tiger debut in the discus with a fifth place finish.
Georgetown College cross country and track and field programs will have a new front face this season, however, Luke Garnett is no stranger to either programs. Long-time coach Todd McDaniel has decided to retire from coaching, for now, and Georgetown is pleased to announce Garnett as the new head coach.
"Luke is a natural fit for our program, and we are excited to have him on board," said Georgetown Director of Athletics Brian Evans. "He knows the school. He loves the school. He knows the student-athletes and loves helping them reach for new goals.
"It is never easy to lose a coach of the caliber of Todd, with his work ethic, passion and the way he cares about Georgetown and the student-athletes. However, we all understand the need to take a step back and focus on family. We wish him all the best and expect to see him around still. Since his graduation, he's had a hand in helping develop both of track and cross country programs. We know Georgetown will always be near and dear to his heart."
McDaniel, a 2002 GC graduate, became an assistant coach following graduation and has guided the cross country men's team since 2010 and took over the women's team in 2013. He was key in restarting the track and field program in 2005, where he coached the men since 2009 and took the women over in 2014.