INDIANOLA, Iowa – Despite chilly, windy conditions and a lengthy lightning delay, the Simpson track and field teams put forth some of the season's best efforts at its own Kip Janvrin Invitational, held Thursday and Friday afternoon.
As the first heat of the women's 400 hurdles was settling into the blocks, lightning in the area caused meet officials to pull the athletes and fans out of the stadium. A one-hour delay ensued before competition could continue.
No team scores were kept, but the Storm posted nine top-five finishes, including a number of season and career bests.
On a day when Simpson recognized its seniors, Kinsey Bak closed her career in front of a home crowd on a high note.
Entering the day tied for sixth in the nation in the high jump, Bak improved her standing by clearing a season-best 5 feet, 6 1/2 inches. The effort won the meet and moves her into a tie for fifth in the nation. Bak also put forth a season-best effort in the long jump, tying for third with a leap of 17-5 1/2.
A little over week removed from recording the third-fastest time in Division III in the 1500-meter run, Catie Ellingson honed up on her 800 meter skills Friday. She took second in the event (2:18.90).
Simpson's second, second-place effort came from freshman Mariah Young. Young set a new career-best in the javelin with a toss of 96-3.
The breezy conditions didn't keep Sammy Nelson from her season-best effort in the 400-meter hurdles. She finished in 66.93 to place fifth. Bayley Fleshner added a sixth-place effort in the 100 hurdles (15.05) and April Sigmund took seventh in the 400 meters (61.48).
On the men's side it was another high-jumper who turned in a big day. Sophomore Josh Diehm tied for first in the event, clearing a career-best height of 6-6.
In his first year on the team since his freshman year, Ben Coy continues to get stronger in the middle distance events. He ran a season-best time of 49.27 in the 400 meters, taking second overall.
Logan Klein had a career day in the long jump, hitting the sand in 21-1 1/2 to place sixth.
Next up for the Storm is the Mark Messersmith Invitational, which takes place in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Friday, May 4.
Notes: This year marked the seventh of the Kip Janvrin Invitational, which was formerly known as the Simpson Twilight before being renamed in 2006 in honor of the 1988 Simpson graduate and 2000 Olympian … 632 individuals registered to compete in the event, representing 33 colleges and universities across the nation.