Former Harlan track & field standout Emma Bianchi qualifies for indoor nationals

GEORGETOWN, Ky. - For the second straight weekend, Georgetown College's men's and women's indoor track and field teams went three hours north for a meet hosted by University of Indianapolis. This was a two-day event and each day saw highlights.

"These first two weeks out of the blocks, pun intended," said GC coach Lucas Garnett with a laugh, "have been solid starts. We have seen hard work paying off with some big personal bests and big school records being set. What more can you ask for?"

Austin Hamlett got it going with a 10th place finish in the 400-meter run in a new school record 52 seconds 38 hundredths. The junior continued his big weekend with a 10th place finish in the 600-meters in a new school record of 1:28.15. He was also 20th in the 200-meter dash in 23.9.

Cody Cooper competed in the heptathlon, finishing 10th with a new school record in the pole vault and a new personal record in the 1,000-meters. The senior finished with 3,404 points in seven events.

It was to the infield from there. Ben Jackson improved on his start this past weekend by nailing the B standard in shot put – automatically qualifying him for indoor nationals. He tossed a new school record 15.32 meters for sixth. Ross Whipple was in the top 20 in shot put with a 13.81 throw for 12th. Gary Lukens set a new personal record with a throw of 11.22.

Alex Clawson finished 11th with a 5.86 long jump – seven spots higher than his first competition.

Christian Ryne finished 19th in the weight throw with a toss of 12.71.

On the women's side, Emma Bianchi has secured another shot at nationals, this one at high jump, tying her personal record of 1.63 meters cleared and hitting the national B standard.

She was also 18th in the long jump with a leap of 3.76. Teammate Sydney Jones led the way for GC in this event with a jump of 4.96 and seventh place. Just ahead of Bianchi was Shaelyn Waller with a 3.92 leap in 17th.

The Tigers stacked the top 20 in the women's shot put and weight throw.

Kirsten Lacy finished seventh with a throw of 12.01. Maggie Mollak was 11th with 10.88 and twins Alli Draughn and Kylee Draughn were 17th and 19th respectively (10.63 and 10.42).

Mollak finished seventh, same as this past weekend, in the weight throw with a toss of 15.59. Lacy was 17th with 13.01 and Kendall Jaycey rounded out this pack with a 19th place finish (12.65).

Jaycey also improved personally in shot put with a 10.28 toss.

Bianchi and Jackson mark first NAIA qualifications for the Tigers in school history for indoor season. They are the 14th and 15th national qualification marks a Tiger has hit in the modern era of Georgetown College track and field. Jackson is now the 10th qualifier in school history, joining Derek Sword (javelin), John Michael Mayo (javelin twice), Steven Swinson (triple jump), Britney Ping (marathon), Garnett (marathon), Tayler Jaeger (800m three times and 1500m), Graham Smith (javelin), Emma Bianchi (high jump twice), and Maggie Mollak (shot put).

Georgetown is back in action Friday in Cedarville, Ohio.