Westerville, Ohio – The Transylvania track and field team returned to Otterbein University's Clements Recreation Center for the second Saturday in two weeks and showed a plethora of changes as they competed in the Dave Lehman Open this afternoon.
It was a day to remember for senior Malik Jackson, who returned to competition for the first time in two years after missing the 2017-2018 season. Jackson didn't waste any time getting back in the swing of things as he finished in the top 10 of the men's long jump with a leap of 6.06 meters and impressively took third place in the men's triple jump with a 12.90 meter jump to provide the Pioneers with points.
It was another senior on the women's side who led the way for the Pioneers, as Shelby Lewis took fifth in the women's pole vault with a jump of 2.84 meters. Lewis' vault broke her own school record in the event to start the day from Otterbein, setting the tone for a terrific day for the Pioneers.
"I was overall very pleased with how today's meet went," commented Transylvania track and field head coach Taylor Throckmorton. "As a team, we had a number of key improvements from last week, which I was hoping to see. It can be tough to come off winter break and compete at a high level right away and we saw that last week. Today was a big step back in the right direction and we left the meet feeling optimistic about the future."
Freshman Jacob Burnam continued his ascent for the Pioneers, taking seventh in the men's 500-meter dash, finishing in 1:12.19. Burnam matched that placing in the men's 1000 meter run, completing the race in 2:39.12.
Senior Rebecca Facktor also finished top-10 in the women's 5000-meter run to highlight the list of performers for Transylvania.
"Shelby really set the tone for the day and seeing her bounce back from her performance last week while being aggressive and confident on her jumps was a great model for how anyone should respond to adversity," added Throckmorton. "And we got a huge boost of momentum from Malik today. We had measured expectations of what his first meet back would be like, but he attacked it and posted the top distance in the conference in the triple jump. I have to give major credit to jumps coach Ali Boice who has done a phenomenal job getting our jumps group to be ready for the season."
The Pioneers will look to extend that momentum when they compete in the Jessica Starks Open next Saturday, January 26 in Columbus, Ohio. The event will be hosted by Capital University.
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