Youngsters shine for Transylvania track and field at Otterbein Invitational

Jordan Upton 2nd place at Otterbein Invitational

Westerville, Ohio – The Transylvania indoor track and field team competed in its first event of 2019, heading up north to the annual Otterbein Invitational on Saturday at the Clements Recreation Center.

The Pioneers enjoyed promising performances from multiple newcomers and youngsters on their roster as they braved winter weather elements to journey to Otterbein for the annual competition which has signaled the unofficial start of the indoor track and field season.

Freshman Jordan Upton displayed his talent for the Pioneers to start the indoor season, finishing the day in second place in the men's triple jump. Delivering a jump of 12.83 meters, his mark stood for nearly the entire competition before he was overtaken by Otterbein's MacKenzie Conlon's 12.98 m jump. Upton added more success to his afternoon with a top-eight finish in the men's long jump.

Senior Nathan McCullough placed fifth in the men's long jump for the Pioneer men.

Freshman Jacob Burnam had a great day in the distance events, coming off his cross country season to post a third-place finish in the men's 800 meters. Burnam crossed the line in 2:00.34 to finish less than three-tenths of a second behind the first-place finisher. His time also becomes the new school record in the men's indoor 800.

"I was particularly impressed by Jacob's 800 race," commented Transylvania track and field head coach Taylor Throckmorton. "The meet was a good ruster buster coming off the holiday break. We always treat the first meet as a way to get back into the routine of competition and dialing in our technique and race strategies. We definitely saw some things we need to improve on as we move forward, so we will address those areas and keep working."

On the women's side, freshman Taylor Allen keyed the charge for the Pioneers with a second-place finish in the women's 400 meters. Allen finished in 1:05.59 to start her 2019 off with an impressive building block. Allen added to her day by placing fifth in the women's 60 meter hurdles, and was closely trailed by senior Olivia Kee, who took sixth in the race.

Sophomore Ally Priebe was the Pioneers' women's distance standout with a fourth-place finish in the women's 1000 meter race, while junior Danielle Blount took fifth in the women's long jump.

"We had good showings from a number of our first-years, which is great to see," Throckmorton added. "We've known since the summer that the freshman class would be a big part of our program this year and to see them get off to a good start is a great sign for the team."

Transylvania will return to Westerville and Otterbein University next week for the Dave Lehman Open. Events are scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m.

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