COLUMBUS, Ohio – Last year, Capital University Women's Track & Field finished seventh the OAC Indoor Track & Field Championships. Capital has seen steady growth and looks to jump, run, and throw itself into the top five at this year's championships to be held at Harrison Dillard Track in Berea, Ohio. Baldwin Wallace University will serve as host for the two-day championship, which begins Friday, Feb. 24.
Capital's top-ranked athlete heading into this weekend's championship is junior Hunter Mouser (London, Ohio/London) who is the No. 1 runner in the 400-meter dash following her program record-breaking performance in the event last week. She cut the tape in 57.07 seconds, which is the top time among her OAC opponents. Mouser will also run in the 200-meter dash where she ranks 15th overall behind a time of 27.20 seconds.
By sheer numbers in addition to quality talent, the Cap throws group has the potential to bring home a large number of points to contribute toward the team's score. Last year, Amber Thomas (Cleveland, Ohio/John Hay) was the only female to pull down All-OAC honors. She finds herself ranked No. 2 in the OAC for the women's shot put behind a season-best toss of 13.31 meters (43-8). Fellow senior Ashley Freshkorn (Columbus, Ohio/Hamilton Township) trails Thomas at the number-five spot (12.94m, 42-5 ½), and three more Crusaders will join the duo in the shot put competition.
Freshkorn also headlines a trio of Capital personnel that will compete in the women' weight throw. Freshkorn is ranked seventh currently (14.71m, 48-3 ¼) with senior Jenna Krieder and sophomore Megan Watt also joining the fray.
Freshman jumps specialist Taylor Manivahn (Grove City, Ohio/Central Crossing) is primed to have an impactful debut at this year's championship as she takes a top-five mark in three different events into the weekend. She is ranked third in the long jump (5.33m, 17-6) and the triple jump (10.38m, 34 ¾), while also holding down No. 5 in the 60-meter dash (8.01).
Mouser and Manivahn will also hold down the first two legs of Cap's 4x400-meter relay team and the third-ranked 4x200-meter relay squad. Akaila Howard and Niamani Mayes hold down the second and anchor legs of the 4x200 team, respectively.
Other notable performers to watch out for this weekend include Larkin Joseph in the 400-meter dash (2.22:30), junior Hannah Westhoven in the 5,000-meter run (19:02.36), freshman Olivia Quinter in the 60-meter hurdles (9.76), Emily Hilt in the high jump (1.55m, 5-1), Akaila Howard (10.34m, 33-11 ¼) and Hilt in the triple jump (10.15m, 33-3 ¾), and Jordan Lyle in the pole vault (3.50m, 11-5 ¾). All of these performers hold top-10 placements in the OAC rankings heading into the championship.
Action at this year's OAC Championships will begin on Friday, Feb. 24 with the first field events beginning at 1:30 p.m. Running events will begin that evening at 5 p.m. Action will resume on Saturday morning at 10 a.m.
$8 Single Day Event
$12 Multi-Day Event
$6 Senior Citizen/Military Single Event
$8 Senior Citizen/Military Multi-Day Event
$3 Non-OAC Student Single Day Event
$5 Non-OAC Student Multi-Day Event
Free - Current BW or OAC Student
OAC Lifetime passes honored
OAC Regular Season passes will not be honored
With the steady improvement plus the splash that Hunter Mouser has had on the team's recent success, Capital has made a major move to leap into the top 10 in the most recent USTFCCCA regional rankings. After being 14th in the Great Lakes Region a week ago, Capital has moved up five spots into ninth behind Baldwin Wallace. Three additional OAC schools are inside the top five in the region including top-ranked University of Mount Union, Otterbein University (3) and Ohio Northern University (4).