Sophomore Tim Thacker won the Appalachian Athletic Conference title in the 1k, senior Liz Maller won the AAC title in the shot put, Milligan’s men won the distance medley relay, and the Milligan College track & field teams came away from day one of the second annual AAC Indoor Track & Field Championships with 11 All-AAC performers.
Thacker, who was on last year’s relay team which won the conference in the 4×800, entered Thursday’s event seeded No. 1 in the AAC and No. 4 in NAIA in the 1k. He ran to a 2:30.38, a personal best and AAC championship record on the way to winning by three seconds. Thacker is also slated to run the 800 Friday.
Maller tossed a Milligan record 13.93 meters in the shot put to win the event by nearly a two-and-a-half-meter margin. A member of the All-AAC team in both the shot put and weight throw in 2018, Maller threw a mark better than the rest of the field on her first attempt before solidifying the new Milligan record, which she owned previously, on attempt number three. The effort would be good for No. 8 in the nation entering the AAC championships.
The men’s DMR team consisted of sophomore Nathan Baker, senior JaMichael Glass, freshman Ethan Pfister and sophomore Alex Mortimer. The crew ran the medley event in an AAC record 10:49.71, over 16 seconds faster than the rest of the field and more than enough to live up to the team’s No. 49 national ranking in the event.
“I think the women got off to a good start today led by Liz (Maller) in the shot put,” Head Coach Chris Layne said. “I wasn’t sure how Tim (Thacker) would respond coming off the flu, but he looked awfully good tonight in the 1k.”
Joining Thacker, Maller and the men’s DMR team as All-AAC members were junior Erica Stone, freshman Avery DeWolf, freshman Lilly Simms, junior Katlyn Haas and sophomore Maci Shell. Stone ran to the runner-up spot in the 1k with a 3:03.37, and the latter four ran to the runner-up in the women’s DMR with a 13:26.66.
Several Buffaloes picked up important points as part of the team effort which has Milligan’s men fifth and Milligan’s women second through day one. Sophomore Ronan Philippot, an All-AAC member in the 60 hurdles last season, ran a 50.51 in the 400 meter final to claim sixth overall. Philippot entered the week seeded outside of the top 10 but made a big jump in the event. Freshman Gabrielle Mardis (18:30.96), sophomore Amy Ferguson (18:35.14) and junior Hannah Bell (19:06.03) went 4-5-7 in the 5k on the women’s side, and junior Cory Aulich (15:57.25) and freshman Samir Koko (16:02.86) went 6-8 in the 5k on the men’s side.
Milligan finishes the AAC championship event Friday with day two set to begin with the high jump at 10 a.m. and conclude with the men’s 4 x 400 relay at 3:25 p.m. After that, the Buffs will turn their attention to the NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships, scheduled for Thursday-Friday, Feb. 28 – March 1, in Brookings, South Dakota.
Story courtesy of Milligan Athletics/Photo courtesy of Natalia Rivas of Milligan Track and Field