This past Friday, the Wittenberg’s Men’s and Women’s Track & Field team welcomed 10 schools to the fourth annual Coach Rob Invitational as they celebrated the Class of 2018 on Senior Day.
For over 11 years, Dennis Robinson, or “Coach Rob,” guided numerous student-athletes by helping them overcome all odds to achieve their true potential. Robinson passed away in 2014 and had the meet named in his honor shortly after.
This year, the meet played host to schools including: Central State University, Case Western Reserve, Earlham College, Heidelberg University, Muskingum University, Ohio Christian University, Wabash College, Wilmington College, Rose-Hulman Institute (who took home first place for the men’s teams) and Baldwin Wallace University (who earned first place for the women’s teams).
The day started out with a short ceremony to honor, celebrate and acknowledge the careers of the five seniors on the track and field team including Anissa Dann, Sydney Granito, Jersson Pachar, Tomas Pyle and Tyler Gittins, before quickly starting the field events.
Pachar opened up the running events by competing in one of the most unique races in Track & Field; the 3000m steeplechase. In this race, athletes run two miles while jumping over 28 barriers and 7 water jumps. Parchar took fifth place after crossing the finish line in a time of 10:23.48.
“I think the race went fairly well; I forgot how much more taxing the hurdles are on the body compared to a flat 3k,” Pachar said. “Given this was my first steeplechase of the season, I was pleased with how it went and that I managed to qualify for All-Ohio.”
The race that drew the biggest excitement was the 5000m run where Charles Rodeheffer, ‘19, set a new Wittenberg record with a time of 15:14.03, breaking the old record,that stood for 19 years by .47 seconds.
“I have had the school record on my bulletin board since freshman year, and now to finally have my name on it is very exciting,” Rodeheffer said. “When the gun went off, I stopped thinking about times and records and just raced, but with a few laps to go, it occurred to me that I was on pace for the record as long as I finished strong.”
Gittins took third place in the 110m hurdles with a final time of 15.63, while Kyle Farnbauch, ‘19, crossed the line at 15.82, earning a fifth place finish. Gittins also finished in fourth-place in the 400m hurdles with a time of 55.37. Tyler Branton, ‘20, (11.26) took third place in the 100m dash. Brandon Johnson, ‘20, (11.56) and Matt Entsminger, ‘19, (11.59) finished back-to-back taking the fifth and sixth spots in the 100m. Branton would add a fifth place finish in the 200m dash, crossing the line in a time of 23.00.
Wittenberg’s 4x400m relay team of Branton, Gittins, Entsminger, and Johnson dominated the competition by running a time of 43.06, earning them a first place finish. As a team, these performances helped the male Tigers take home the third place trophy.
For the women’s team, Dann (44.58m) took fourth-place in the hammer throw. Ryelee Clary, ‘21, won the 100m hurdles with a time of 15.30, followed closely by Taylor Barnhise, ‘21, with a final time of 16.82, earning a sixth place finish. Barnhisel would also take sixth place in the 400m hurdles with a time of 1:10.83. Anna Lebold, ‘21, crossed the line in a time of 2:28.23 in the 800m run for a fourth place finish. Samantha Mitchell, ‘19, took fifth place in the 200m dash, crossing the line in a time of 26.91. Leah Hilley, ‘19, took sixth place in the 100m dash, crossing the line in a time of 13.42. As a team, these performances led the female Tigers to a seventh place finish.