By RAMA PEROO/Cowley College
Honoring the legacy of Hall of Fame track and field coach Mark A. Phillips, Cowley College hosted 10 teams at the Mark A. Phillips Invite Saturday in Arkansas City at the Mark A. Phillips Track and Field Complex. Coach Phillips’ memory was everywhere as former athletes and coaches were on hand to share in the beautiful spring afternoon.
“Our program has hosted 15 other Tiger Invites before this past weekend and with this one being the first one named in honor of Coach Mark Phillips, we really wanted to make it special. I feel like we did just that,” Cowley head coach Cameron Rieth said.
Sadly, coach Phillips passed away in April 2022 due to complications from ALS.
In Phillips’ time at Cowley, he led the Tigers to two national championships, 32 Jayhawk Conference titles, 11 Region VI titles, and 14 top-five finishes at the NJCAA National Championships. He also coached 273 All-Americans, nine individual national champions, three national record holders, and one Olympic festival gold medalist. He also served as the school’s assistant cross country coach and helped the 2010 men’s and women’s cross country teams capture national championships.
“Saturday was a fantastic meet for our Tigers,” Rieth said. “We could not have asked for better weather. This meet was exactly what we were hoping for, which was to blow off some early-season rust for the ones that have not competed in a while. Some of our squads have not competed for well over a month, so it was good to see where they are at. We put most in race distances that are not their strengths and had them double back in multiple events for a workout. We had some outstanding performances across the board. Many people hit personal bests in all event groups.”
Freshman Genesis Bautista from the Dominican Republic broke the school record in the triple jump (38-3 ¼) and had the second-best mark in program history in the long jump (18-8).
“Genesis Bautista had herself a day,” Rieth said.
Genesis’ sister, Jamilet, placed first in the javelin with a national qualifying mark of 122-8. While, Andrea Garcia-Gonzalez took 37 seconds off her 1,500-meter personal best, and the Lady Tiger 4×400-meter relay team ran its fastest time in six years.
The Tiger men had six individual national qualifiers to go along with its 4×100-meter relay team, also hitting the national qualifying mark.
Freshman Lance Blubaugh placed first in the discus (153-0) and javelin (174-11) with national qualifying marks in both events.
“Our throws group continues to crush it,” Rieth said. “I am very impressed with our freshman Swiss army knife, Lance Blubaugh. The kid can do it all. We had a heck of a meet across the board, it is almost impossible to name everything. There is one thing that I cannot say enough, and that is THANK YOU to all of the people that were a part of putting this together. It takes a village of people, and it was incredible to get to see all the people willing to help put this thing on.”
The Cowley College track and field teams will return to action Friday and Saturday when they take part in the Friends University Spring Invitational in Wichita, KS.
“We have lots of things to be excited about looking forward, but we know we still have a mountain of work to do, and we are going to keep chipping away at it,” Rieth said.
*Hammer – Kayla McClellan, 157-9, first; Sarah Robinson, 155-10, second; McKenna Markle, 132-4, ninth; Kennedy Bulger, 96-6, 18th.
*Javelin – Jamilet Bautista Infante, 122-8, first, national qualifier; Mercedes Glover, 106-10, third.
*1,500-meter run – Andrea Garcia-Gonzalez, 5:10.35, second; Delicia Boothe, 5:13.74, third.
* Long jump – Genesis Bautista, 18-8, first, national qualifier; Abby Rueschhoff, 16-3 ¾, sixth.
*Triple jump – Bautista, 38-3 ¼, first, school record, national qualfiier; Rueschhoff, 34-10 ½, fifth.
*High jump – Gracie Shire, 4-11 ¾, fifth.
*Pole vault – Carla Santos, 9-7, third; Jacie Carson, 8-7, fifth.
*Shot put – Infante, 39-10 ½, third; McClellan, 37-10, fifth; Chloe Grusing, 34-4 ¾, 11th; McKenna Markle, 32-9 ½, 12th; Bulger. 31-3 ¼, 16th.
*Discus – McClellan, 127-11, fourth; Grusing, 108-1, 12th; Markle, 95-6, 14th.
*400-meter run – Isabella Kupka, 57.58, second; Abigail Pinnock, 1:00.93, fourth; Dhennifer Vaz, 1:03.23, seventh; Layla Ingalls, 1:03.33, eighth; Esther Vazquez, 1:04.94, ninth.
*100-meter dash – Genique Bassett, 13.41, 12th.
*200-meter dash – Kupka, 24.98, third; Genesis Bautista, 26.11, seventh; Gracie Shire, 28:37, 15th; Esther Vazquez, 28.71, 16th; Mercedes Glover, 30.82, 18th.
*4×400-meter run – Cowley “A”, Kupka, Pinnock, Bridges, Ingalls, 4:02.94, first; Cowley “B”, 4:32.27, third.
*Hammer – Treavor Green, 182-3, third, national qualifier; Jaden Schneeberger, 180-11, fourth; Jacob Crewsell, 142-1, eighth; Abner Johnson, 140-3, ninth; Jean-De Dixon, 132-7, 11th; Lance Blubaugh, 130-0, 12th; Mario Garcia-Arroyo, 105-6, 17th.
*Shot put – Abner Johnson, 52-7 ¼, second, national qualifier; Jaden Schneebeger, 47-4 ½, sixth; Lance Blubaugh, 46-10, seventh; Jean-De Dixon, 38-10 ¼, 12th.
*Javelin – Lance Blubaugh, 174-11, first, national qualifier; Julian Washington, 137-8, fifth.
*1,500-meter run – Goran Duijsters, 4:05.59, second; Aidan Wells, 4:06.37, third; Randy Rojas-Mendez, 4:10.45, sixth; Santiago Nunez, 4:12.71, ninth; Joel Rodriguez, 4:13.93, 10th; Muneer Suied, 4:14.00, 11th; Dylan Roe, 4:25.30, 16th; Mason Bickle, 4:25.51, 17th; Basheer Suied, 4:28.10, 21st; Edgar Reyes, 4:31.40, 22nd; Aaron Medrano, 4:34.29, 23rd; Elio Rivera, 4:37.31, 25th.
*Discus – Blubaugh, 153-0, first, national qualifier; Mario Garcia-Arroyo, 148-7, second; Dixon, 140-6, fourth; Johnson, 132-8, fifth; Creswell, 125-11, ninth; Schneeberger, 124-4, 10th; Green, 116-10, 12th.
*High jump – Garrah Bauer, 6-3 ½, third.
*Pole vault – Riley Hunter, 14-4, fourth, national qualifier; Luke Faulkner, 14-4, fifth, national qualifier; Felipe Mentz, 12-7 ½, ninth.
*400-meter run – Deshawn Douglas, 54.76, 19th.
*100-meter dash – Keorapetse Nkopane, 10.82, eighth; John Heriot, 11.37, 21st.
*200-meter dash – K’Anthony Benjamin, 21.57, seventh; Tommaso Bruni, 22.13, 16th; Devontae Pruitt, 22.35, 22nd; Jeremy Garcia, 22.64, 24th; Diego Andres-Dougan, 22.83, 27th; Nicolas Tornay, 23.48, 35th; Siyabonga Jiyane, 23.75, 37th.
*110-meter hurdles – Felipe Mentz, 16.52, 10th.
*4×100-meter relay – Cowley, 41.35, Diego Andres-Dougan, K’Anthony Benjamin, Keorapetse Nkopane, Devontae Pruitt, third, national qualifier.
*4×400-meter relay – Cowley “A”, 3:30.61, fourth; Cowley “B”, 3:31.45, fifth; Cowley “C”, 3:42.52, seventh.