SHARE
Senior Ty Etchemendy lept 15.07 meters on Sat­urday in the triple jump event, breaking the 25-year-old school record. (Photo: Todd Lan­caster / Courtesy)

Going into the Border Battle last Sat­urday, senior Ty Etchemendy planned on com­peting in the 400-meter hurdles and not the triple jump. But when wind con­di­tions were perfect for jumping, Etchemendy decided to make one or two jumps. On his first attempt, he jumped a per­sonal season best.

“I knew, at that point, it was going to go really well if I kept jumping,” Etchemendy said.

He wasn’t able to get things right his next four jumps, and he couldn’t match the dis­tance of his first attempt. On the last jump, Etchemendy knew it had to be then or never.

The senior captain lept 15.07 meters, breaking the pre­vious 25-year-old school record by 0.03 meters, which is roughly the length of a small paperclip.

“During my fifth jump, the girls were running the 400-meter hurdles, and I knew, ‘I’m either going to take another jump or run the 400-meter hurdles,’” he said. “I decided to jump, and it worked out.”

Etchemendy said the school record was a long-time-coming after mul­tiple indoor and outdoor track seasons where he felt he per­formed below his potential. As a freshman, Etchemendy placed seventh in the triple jump during the indoor national meet and qual­ified for the outdoor national meet later in the year, but he hasn’t returned to a national com­pe­tition since. He is cur­rently ranked 17th in Division II, and he believes he can move up on the list during the remaining meets this season.

Head coach Andrew Towne said while Etchemendy’s school record stood out, he saw a lot of good per­for­mances from ath­letes in all of the team’s event groups at the Border Battle home meet this past Friday and Sat­urday.

“Just a lot of good things across the board,” Towne said. “[Junior] Evan Tandy was solid, [freshman] David Downey is showing promise in the 400 hurdles as a young buck — a lot of good things.”

The men’s team earned mul­tiple per­sonal records and nine first-place fin­ishes at the meet. Further, junior David Chase’s pro­vi­sional qual­i­fying per­for­mance in the decathlon makes him the fifth athlete on the men’s team to earn a pro­vi­sional mark.

Junior Daniel Čapek had another solid per­for­mance, throwing within a couple meters of his per­sonal best in both the discus and the hammer throw. Junior Luke Miller had a season-best vault, which was only 0.06 meters shorter than his all-time per­sonal best.

The team’s middle-dis­tance ath­letes also had a good showing at the meet, with sophomore Tanner Schwan­necke leading three other Chargers under two minutes in the 800 meter, and senior Caleb Gatchell leading sophomore Nick Fiene to a sub-four minute time in the 1500 meter.

Next to Etchemendy’s school record, senior Todd Frickey’s 10.59 second 100-meter dash was the most impressive per­for­mance of the day. Frickey said he felt tired during the race and believes he can go faster in the remaining meets this season.

“I didn’t come out and run the race I wanted to in the prelims, but I still ended up running a provo mark. I wasn’t super happy with the time, but I came around in the finals,” Frickey said. “I was happy with the pro­gression I made, and I think it’s going to be a good building block for faster times to come the next couple of weeks.”

Frickey, whose 100-meter dash time is cur­rently tied for the 36th spot in Division II, is deter­mined to improve his spot on the list after being one spot out of qual­i­fying for the national meet in the 100-meter dash last year.

Both the men’s 4x100 and 4x400-meter relays won their respective races, but Towne admitted that neither team, both of which have expe­ri­enced success in the past year, has run up to its potential.

“We’ve had some minor injuries that have kept us from putting our full ‘A Team’ out there, so I’m not sure moving forward what that will look like,” Towne said.

This weekend, the men’s track team will split up again, with some ath­letes trav­eling to the Al Owens Classic at Grand Valley State Uni­versity in Allendale, Michigan, and others trav­eling to the Jesse Owens Classic at Ohio State Uni­versity in Columbus, Ohio. 

“It’s been a dif­ferent year for us, in that we’ve been split up as a team a lot more reg­u­larly than we have in the past,” Towne said. “There’s some things from a team stand­point that I don’t love with that, but I do feel like, on an indi­vidual basis, we’re putting most kids in the best sit­u­ation pos­sible for them that par­ticular week. This weekend is really no dif­ferent.”