By: Dylan DeWitt
The Findlay Oilers track and field athletes and coaches have been preparing for the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships this upcoming weekend. The men`s and women`s teams will look to defend their home track throughout the indoor championships. The men`s team will attempt to one up the defending of the home track, and become back to back champions in the G-MAC. Overall, the conference championship is shaping up to be a very exciting event that will take place in the Koehler Center at the University of Findlay.
The women`s team look to improve on its previous year`s performance where they ended up with a fifth place finish in the indoor track and field championships. Last year, the Hillsdale Chargers were crowned champions. Coming into the championship, there are some stellar athletes on the women`s track and field team that have been able to gain exemption at the NCAA DII provisional time or marks, or hold mark at the top of this season`s top list in the event category.
Semoy Hemmings has had an impressive year thus far in the 200 meter and 400 meter run. She currently enters the events at fourth best in the 200-meter race with a time of 25.38 on the season. For the 400-meter race, Hemmings holds the top time in the conference by almost a full second after she set this time on December 8, 2018 at 56.51 seconds. This time meets the NCAA DII Provisional time as well.
Other track and field athletes that holds a top three mark in the conference this year leading up to the championship is Meadow Cromer and Hannah Hahler in their respected events. Cromer holds the third best clearance on the year with a vault of 3.66 m. This also was a mark that cracked the NCAA Division II Provisional. Hahler also was able to gain the NCAA Division II Provisional mark with her shot put throw of 14.28 m long which also places her in third best coming into the event.
For the defending Great Midwest Athletic Conference champions and current seventh team in the nation, they will look to hold off the NCAA Division II Track and Field Champions from the 2018 season in the Tiffin Dragons. The Oilers have many athletes as well that are known to be some of the best in the conference for their respected events.
The following athletes have either a top five best mark on the year and/or a Division II Provisional mark. These student athletes for the men`s track and field team consist of Lenell Shelby III, Daniel Agbola, Xavier Marable, George Effah, Justin Dreyling, Daniel Agbola, Martin Etsey, Gabe Makin, Eldred Henry, Austin Combs, Dequan Lovell, and Javian Martin.
Some of these athletes have been able to surpass the NCAA Division II Automatic mark for their performances. Austin Combs has an automatic qualifying mark with a weight throw of 21.71 meters. Combs was a national champion last season in the weight throw competition. In the shot put event, Henry holds the top spot in the conference by nearly one meter and beat the automatic mark with an impressive heave of 19.44 meters.
In the top positions entering the events, Etsey holds a 1.44 meter advantage for his top performance in the triple jump after a jump of 15.66 meters. Also, Dreyling holds the top jump in the long jump competition with a mark of 7.21 meters. Marable looks to run against fellow teammate Effah in the championships as they sit first and third in the standings with times of 48.00 and 48.22 seconds in the 400-meter race.
Overall, the Great Midwest Conference Championship for the men`s and women`s indoor track and field teams is looking to shape up to be an energy packed event filled with top performers around the conference. The events begin on Friday Feb. 22 and conclude on Saturday Feb. 23 with both track events and field events going on throughout.