Trojans perform big at Indiana Little State Championships

Senior Brandan Wilchcombe earned a third-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.53 seconds at the Indiana Little State Championships.

Connor Rowland | The Echo

The Taylor men’s and women’s track and field teams sported impressive performances across the board at the Indiana Little State meet hosted by Indiana Wesleyan this past weekend, finishing eighth and third, respectively.

From the men’s side, freshman Sam Lacher dominated in the 400-meter dash to highlight the day for the Trojans. Lacher recorded a personal best with a mark of 48.23 seconds, automatically qualifying for the Outdoor National Championships.  

The upperclassmen continued their recent hot streak. Senior Brandan Wilchcombe finished third in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.53 seconds. Senior Noah Clayton finished third in the 400-meter dash with a season-best time of 55.93 seconds. Junior Matt Hall received the highest ranking from the purple and gold squad, finishing second in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 15:13.76.

Several late-season nagging injuries have decimated a talented Trojan bunch. However, the men’s track and field team has their eyes set on the long run with the Crossroads League Championships looming. Taylor finished second among Crossroads League foes within the meet, tallying 53 total points and trailing only Indiana Wesleyan (95).

“We have a very strong team with a lot of talent in many areas,” Lacher said. “Some injuries have gotten in the way, but when we are all healthy and firing on all cylinders, we could be tough to beat.”

From the women’s side, the Trojans earned 107 points to claim third place.

Senior Haley White hit an all-time career high in the javelin throw, automatically qualifying for the Outdoor National Championships next month with a meet-winning toss of 40.62 meters.

“After I threw my (personal record), my team just erupted around the track so it was really cool to see that support,” White said. “I’ve been working at this for four years and to hit a (personal record) in my senior year was so cool!”

A slew of Trojans tallied on impressive performances throughout the meet. Freshman Plenseh-Tay Sakeuh earned herself a place in the record books, setting a new school record in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.37 seconds.

Freshman Margie Crosby also clinched a place in the Taylor record book, racing to a second place finish in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:18.63. Crosby’s run placed her fifth in Taylor history.

The freshman class proved to be pivotal in the match with three athletes collecting several key points for the Trojans. Freshman Rachel Blagg clocked a personal record time of 4:44.78 in the 1,500-meter run. Freshmen Julianne Exner and Miriam Wood, both triple jump athletes, claimed second and fourth, respectively. Senior Anissa Richards added another automatic qualifier for the squad in the marathon on Saturday.

Both squads earned several automatic qualifiers for the upcoming Outdoor Nationals. With the conference meet in two weeks, the Trojans seek to get healthy and ultimately win the Crossroads League title.

“I would say (we had) a really good meet this past weekend,” said head coach David Neville. “Everyone performed well. We had a number of personal bests from athletes. I think the morale of the team is really high right now.”

“Photograph by Fayth Glock”