Millikin Track on the Rise


Mark your calendars for April 7.

With three indoor meets in the books, the Millikin track and field team is on track for a successful season.

“It’s important to know that we’re an extremely young team right now, with a majority of the athletes being freshmen and sophomores,” junior Alex Johnson said.

At indoor meets, Johnson participates in the 60 meter dash and outdoors, the 100 meter dash. He also is a long jumper.

During the fall semester, all members of the team set goals and then posted them. Though their goals may have changed from then to now, they all know what they want to accomplish this season individually.

“My personal goal is to run a 22 second 200 and jump six meters in long jump by the end of the season,” Johnson said.

In their last meet at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, the women’s team finished in third and the men in fifth.

The women’s 4×400 relay team of Erin Lukens, Mackenzie Dixon, Brianna Niebrugge, and Claire Weers took first, placing their team on Millikin’s all-time best list in the eight spot.

Freshman Brea Blackwell finished in second in the long jump for the third best time in school history.

Lukens and Dixon each notched their names on all-time lists in other events in the third spot. For Lukens, it was the 400 meter run and for Dixon, the 800 meter run. Neither are newcomers to the list. At Monmouth, both runners already added their names to their respective lists. For Lukens, she set a school record in the 300 meter run at the Monmouth Midwest Invitational.

Sophomore Natalie Krol and freshman Gillian Card took seventh and eighth in the 800 meter run.

In the one mile run, Joycelyn VanAntwerp cemented herself in seventh place on Millikin’s all-time list.

Many other freshman on the women’s side contributed, placing in the top five in their events including Cassie Meyer, Maddie Meyer, and Isabella Newingham.

For the men, sophomore Ethan Meyer won the triple jump with the second best leap in school history, Joey Davies took first in the mile run, and freshman Jackson Allen won the 200 meter race.

Freshman William Powell has the eighth best time in school history in the 3000 meter run due to his performance at Rose-Hulman.

“Despite being young, we’re placing pretty well in meets,” Johnson said.

After travelling to New York for their first indoor meet, the Big Blue travelled to both Monmouth College and Rose-Hulman. Before their indoor season comes to a close, they will journey to Illinois Wesleyan, Eastern Illinois University, and Kenosha twice, for the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin indoor championships and the Last Chance Meet, both hosted by Carthage College.

After, their outdoor season begins. On April 7, Frank M. Lindsay Field will be home to the Big Blue Alumni Meet, the one home meet for the track team.

In the inaugural preseason coaches’ poll, the Big Blue women were projected to finish in seventh place, edging out North Park and Elmhurst. Wheaton was unanimously chosen to fill the top spot, defending their 2017 conference championship.

For the men, defending National Champion North Central College was chosen to secure a conference championship. Millikin’s men were chosen to take fifth, right in the middle of the pack.

“On the men’s and women’s side I’d say the team is in a much better position than we were last year,” Johnson said. “Multiple freshmen have broken school records and won races early this season.”