ANGOLA, Ind. -- The Trine women's track and field team will look to climb towards the top of the conference when the Thunder compete in the MIAA Indoor Track and Field Championships Saturday at Calvin College.
The team enters the meet with four performers ranked in the top 30 in the nation in their respective events. Trine will have three performers who hold a combined five school records competing in Saturday's championship. Thunder competitors have combined for four performances that lead the conference. The team placed fifth in the conference's inaugural indoor championship last winter.
Throwing events once again figure to be a strength for Trine. Kara Eck (Auburn, Ind. / DeKalb) leads the MIAA and ranks 10th in the nation in the weight throw. Eck set a school record in the event at the IWU Midwest Classic earlier this year. The junior earned All-America honors in the weight throw as a freshman. Jenn Steyer (Fenton, Mich. / Lake Fenton) returns to defend her MIAA title from last season. The senior ranks second in the MIAA in the weight throw this year. Steyer's best effort this year was more than a meter better than the third-best performer in the conference.
Eck, an All-American in the shot put last year, also enters the meet ranked No. 1 in the MIAA in the event this year. She ranks 22nd in the nation in the event. Freshman Andrea Hagar (Goshen, Ind. / Fairfield) gives the Thunder another strong bet to earn points in the event. Hagar is ranked fourth in the conference in the shot put.
Trine also figures to see a chance to score significant points in sprinting events. Kaylyn Forrest (Cassopolis, Mich. / Ross-Beatty), Jenna Gales (Mendon, Mich. / Mendon), Jensyn Garrow (Archbold, Ohio / Archbold) and Hope Scholma (Montpelier, Ohio / Montpelier) make up a young core of runners with a chance to make an impact Saturday.
Gales leads the conference in the 400-meter dash and ranks 30th in the nation in the event. She set a school record with a time of 58.55 seconds. Gales also ranks second in the MIAA in the 200-meter dash. Garrow isn't far behind Gales' times in either event. Garrow ranks third in the conference in both the 200-meter and 400-meter dashes.
Forrest and Scholma anchor a potentially strong effort in the 60-meter dash. Forrest set a school-record with a time of 8.12 seconds, which is tied for second in the MIAA. Scholma's best time was clocked at 8.19 seconds, seventh in the MIAA.
Gales, Garrow, Forrest and Scholma also make up the top 4-x-400-meter relay team in the conference.