Freshman Kohner Butts helps lead the Men's DMR to 1-of-5 school-records that fell on day one of the Gorilla Classic.
Freshman Kohner Butts helps lead the Men's DMR to 1-of-5 school-records that fell on day one of the Gorilla Classic.

Records Fall on First Day of Gorilla Classic

Pittsburg, KS – The IHCC Track & Field team traveled to the Harvey Dean Track facility on the campus of Pittsburg State University to compete in the 4th annual Gorilla Classic this weekend. The weekend was heralded as a high-caliber meet that could yield some very impressive results, and it did not disappoint. 5 school-records went down on the first day of competition, and the team recorded nearly 10 personal-bests.

Freshman Elijah Barnes got things started for the Warriors by re-breaking his own school-record in the weight throw. Barnes heave of 13.86-meters (45'5") breaks his previous school-record by nearly half-of-a-meter.

Next up on the track for IHCC were the men's & women's distance medley relays. Lightning struck twice, as both teams ran well under the previous school-record. The women's team of freshman Halley Wilmes, sophomore Kylee Spurgeon, sophomore Emma Rosner, & sophomore Ashlyn Elmore blitzed their way to a finishing time of 13-minutes & 33 seconds, a mere 6-seconds off of the national qualifying mark. The men followed suit, as a team of: freshman Chandler Eckley, sophomore Damond Anderson, freshman Kohner Butts, & freshman Conner Riley raced their way to an all-time best 10-minutes & 50-seconds, also narrowly missing the qualifying mark.

Then, sophomore All-American Tyarra English-Paulson took the track for the Warriors. English-Paulson ran a school-record time of 1:37.14 in the 600-meter run, in just her 2nd meet back from injury. Her time was a personal best by over 3.5-seconds, and punches her ticket back to the Plaster Center in 3 short weeks for the NJCAA Indoor Track & Field National Championships.

Finally, the men's 5,000-meter crew looked to round-out what had been a great day of action for Indian Hills. Sophomore Clayton Grainger & freshman Seth Kilborn both raced their way to personal bests in the event. In heat 2, sophomore All-American Michael DeMeyer rattled off a 23-second personal best on his way to running 15:14 to re-break his own school-record set at the Frank Sevigne Invite just a week ago. However, that record would be short lived, as fellow sophomore All-American Marcus Graham hammered home the last 2,000-meter of what was a very tactical race to run 14:44, and finished 3rd overall. Both he and DeMeyer qualified for nationals in the 5,000 with their efforts.

Other big performances included a personal best of 1.93-meters in the high jump for Damond Anderson, and a near national qualifying effort in the high jump from sophomore Shalandra Shilling.

The team will return to action for day two of the Gorilla Classic hosted by Pittsburg State at 10 a.m. CST.