CHICAGO – UNI’s Carter Morton capped an impressive MVC Indoor Championship meet exhibition on Monday as the Panther junior finished with three gold medal performances to earn most valuable athlete of the meet honors at Chicago’s Gately Park.
The Panther men finished in third place overall with 123 points taking home first place in six events. UNI’s women’s team tied with Belmont for sixth place with 55 points.
After winning the men’s long jump on Sunday, Morton kicked off his whirlwind second day of competition with a first place finish in the triple jump (42 feet, 8.75 inches), becoming UNI’s first MVC indoor champion in the event since 2004. The Jefferson, Iowa native followed the win up by clinching the Heptathlon title with 5,278 total points, earning UNI’s first win in the MVC Championships since Daniel Gooris in 2012. Teammates Drew Bartels (4,729 points) and Brody Lovell (4,726) finished in third and fourth place respectively in the Heptathlon.
Parker Kiewiet topped the podium in the men’s 400-meter dash, setting a new UNI, facility and meet record with a time of 46.13. Kiewiet’s record breaking performance secured the Panthers’ first 400-meter dash title since Cory Goos in 2009, and broke UNI Hall of Famer Dirk Homewood’s 2003 program record. Onal Mitchell (47.54) and Andrew Feguson (48.14) both clocked career-bests in the 400-meters to finish fourth and fifth respectively, as River Patterson took seventh place (50.39).
Emily Vos posted a career-best time of 56.09 in the women’s 400-meters to finish in fourth place. Erin Kerkhoff landed in eighth place after finishing with a time of 56.96.
Drake Hanson took home gold for UNI in the men’s 800-meters (1:55.04), becoming the first Panther to win the event since 2008 NCAA indoor champion Tyler Moulder went back-to-back in 2008 and 2009. Hanson placed second in the 800-meters at last year’s MVC Championships.
Katie Fare and Mckenna Wilson both notched top-five finishes in the women’s shot put. Fare took second place with a throw of 52 feet, 1.5 inches (15.88m), while Wilson placed third throwing 48 feet, 10 inches (14.88m).
Competing in the women’s high jump, Layanna Green jumped a career-best of 5 feet, 4.5 inches (1.64m) to take fourth place. Morton finished in fifth place with a jump of 6 feet, 7.5 inches (2.02m).
Reigning men’s 60-meter hurdles champion Jack Sumners earned another podium finish as he took second place with a career-best time of 8.02 second. Kyle Trunnell also ran in the men’s final, taking eighth place (8.37). Paige Kinsley meanwhile dropped 0.05 seconds off her career-best time to finish in sixth place in the women’s 60-meter hurdles.
In the women’s sprints, school record holder Rylan Santi clocked a 7.51 in Monday’s 60-meter finals to finish in fourth place, while Vos followed up her top-four finish in the 400-meters with a seventh place finish in the 200-meters, notching a time of 24.72.
The Panthers closed the meet as the UNI men’s broke a 21-year old MVC Championship meet record in the 4×400-meter relay, as Mitchell, Kiewiet, Hanson and Feguson notched a time of 3:12.63 to clinch one last first place finish for the purple and gold. On the women’s side, Jill Bennett, Auriona Kimbrough, Vos and Kerkhoff were narrowly edged by Southern Illinois, finishing in third place with a time of 3:46.71.
UNI will await the announcement of the 2023 NCAA Indoor Championship qualifiers on Tuesday. Final championship start lists will be released by the NCAA on March 8, with the national championships running March 10-11 at the Albuquerque Convention Center in New Mexico.
2023 MVC Women’s Indoor Track & Field Championship Final Team Scores
1st – Illinois State (130)
2nd – Murray State (108)
3rd – Indiana State (99)
4th – Bradley (84)
5th – Southern Illinois (57)
T6th – Belmont (55)
T6th – UNI (55)
8th – Missouri State (45)
9th – Drake (27)
10th – UIC (3)
2023 MVC Men’s Indoor Track & Field Championship Final Team Scores
1st – Indiana State (153)
2nd – Illinois State (149)
3rd – UNI (123)
4th – Southern Illinois (82)
5th – Bradley (72)
6th – Drake (47)
T7th – Belmont (14)
T7th – Valparaiso (14)
9th – UIC (5)
OTHER UNI PERFORMANCES
Men’s One-Mile Finals
10th – David Holesinger II – 4:30.19
Women’s 3,000m Finals
12th – Emma Hoins – 10:06.31
13th – Kate Crawford – 10:07.72
22nd – Isabelle Schaffer – 10:23.96
Women’s Shot Put Finals
10th – Sarah Byrd – 13.49m (44-3.25)
14th – Mari Shavers – 12.67m (41-7)
16th – Allison Flanscha – 12.49m (40-11.75)
Women’s High Jump Finals
9th – Rylie Todd – 1.59m (5-2.5)
12th – Katy Stephens – 1.59m (5-2.5)
Men’s High Jump Finals
9th – Caden Ungs – 1.92m (6-3.5)
Men’s Shot Put Finals
11th – Carson Lienau – 16.42m (53-10.50)
14th – Sebastian Swistak – 14.83m (48-8)