Photo Courtesy of Millikin
As spring break approaches, instead of preparing for the pollen and flowers, turn to your Millikin athletes as the end of late winter sports finishes and the beginning of spring season starts.
In the last two weeks, the Millikin swim season has come to an end after six long hardworking months (and an additional two for the triathletes on the team). The team’s season was one for the tables, the size of the team nearly doubled, with 17 new freshman, they broke old records and destroyed previous years’ placements at team meets. Led by Coach Duesterhaus and Assistant Coach Wyllie, expectations for the team were set high, but for the new team they appeared to be no issue at all.
At the NCAA Division 3 Conference, two swimmers were awarded for their achievements in the pool. Senior, Cameron Lee was awarded the Dennis Ryan Outstanding Participant award and Olivia Marquardt earned All-Conference Honors. Felix Archer set three new records for Millikin. The first record was in the 200 backstroke; Archer finished fourth in the event with a time of 1:54.62, winning fourth again in his 100 backstroke. Archer had the sixth fastest time at Conference in the 200 Individual Medley. Marquardt also set records for Millikin in her 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke, and 100 freestyle. Swimming a 57.40 in the butterfly, a 58.69 in the backstroke, and 54.74 in the freestyle. In the end, the women finished sixth and men were fifth.
After the track and field conference, the team gear up for another chance to fix any mistakes made at the last meet. The Final Qualifier Meet at Carthage College was hosted last weekend, and with only five Millikin students competing, there were no qualifiers for the NCAA championships at this meet. Aeon Johnson, Alexis Obermeyer, Dalton Collins, Jackson Allen, and Mackenzie Dixon, represented the Millikin Big Blue. Johnson threw a new school record in the weight throw of 15.85 meters, making him seventh in the event. Obermeyer threw 14.72 meters in the same event, finishing fifth. Collins ran the 60 meters hurdles in 8.53 seconds, finishing in seventh place. Allen ran the 60 and 200 meters, finishing in 7.14 and 22.50 seconds respectively. Allen took twelveth in the 60 meters and sixth in the 200 meter. Dixon won her 800 meter run but was just shy of her old time of 2:14.30, ending with a time of 2:17.84.
This was the last chance this season for indoor events for the Millikin athletes. But as one door closes another opens. In the upcoming weeks, track and field will begin transitioning to outdoor season for the runners, throwers, jumpers, and vaulters.
As the weather warms up, several sports are starting to make a return. The increase in temperature allows tennis, softball, and soccer to practice again. The spring seasons for the sports may not last long, but they are expected to be packed with energy. Tennis will kick up after spring break, and soccer games are set to begin shortly.
Tennis has already had a match against Division 1 school, Eastern Illinois University. Representing the women’s team was Shelby Jones. On the men’s side Jacob Palley and Colin Sandgren fought competitively but Holden Owens was the only winner in the single matches from Millikin University.
Games for the softball and soccer team have yet to start but students are starting to prepare for practices as the season grows closer. Space at the Decatur Indoor Sports Center may start to feel crowded as soccer matches begin, and softballs smash into the nets.