TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – With 11 first-place finishes, the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology men’s track and field team cruised to the team victory to open its outdoor season in Saturday’s five-team Early Bird Invitational at the William Welch Track and Field Complex.
Franklin College placed second in the meet, followed by Defiance, DePauw, and Illinois Track Club.
RHIT’s Austin Schulthies (Dubois, Ind./Northeast Dubois) led the way with three first place marks of his own, as he captured titles in the javelin (174 feet), high jump (6-1 ¼) and long jump (21-10 ¼).
His brother Blake Schulthies (Dubois, Ind./Northeast Dubois) snagged two titles of his own, as he placed first in both the pole vault (14-1/2) and 400-meter hurdles (56.23 seconds).
More Engineers who finished first in their respective events included senior Stu West (LaPorte, Ind./LaPorte) in the 3,000 steeplechase (9:58.97), freshman Charles Spaeth (Hillsboro, Ill./Hillsboro) in the shot put (47-4 ½), senior Philip Koranteng (Sterling, Va./Dominion) in the 110 hurdles (15.80), freshman Adam Wilson (Mecca, Ind./Riverton-Park) in the 100 (11.45), and sophomore Tyler Duffy (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) in the 200 (22.75).
The RHIT 4x100 relay team of Wilson, Koranteng, Isaiah Smith (Shelbyville, Ind./Shelbyville) and Clay Becker (Gaylord, Mich./St. Mary Cathedral) rounded out the Engineers’ first-places, finishing with a time of 43.42.
In addition to its 11 first-places, the Fightin’ Engineers men’s squad also had nine second place finishers. They included: senior Andy Hunkeler (Kokomo, Ind./Northwestern) in the hammer throw (146-6), freshman Andrew Okruch (Mt. Washington, Ky./Bullitt East) in the shot put (45-6 ½), freshman Nic Keller (Terre Haute, Ind./South Vigo) in the discus (137-3), junior Ryan Meyer (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove) in the 3,000 steeplechase (10:02.67), Blake Schulthies in the 110 hurdles (15.99), Becker in the 100 (11.63), sophomore Kevin Mauser (Pittsburg, Pa./Shaler) in the 5,000 (15:34.09), freshman Josh Blome (Casey, Ill./Casey Westfield) in the pole vault (14-0 ½) and the 4x400 relay team (3:26.63) of Smith, Blake Schulthies, Brendon Mattiuz (Fishers, Ind./Fishers) and Jake Kelley (Tecumseh, Mich./Tecumseh).
On the women’s side, the Fightin’ Engineers had two champions to take fourth place in the team standings.
Defiance College placed first in the team standings, followed by DePauw, Franklin, RHIT, Triton College, and Evansville.
Sophomore Addie Johnson (Grand Rapids, Mich./Catholic Central) crossed the finish line first in the 400 (1:00.99) and freshman Emilie Hobbs (Peru, Ind./Peru) was first in the 5,000 (20:20.85) to pace the RHIT women.
Freshman Ava Paruleski (Shumway, Ill./Beecher City) had a strong first showing in her first collegiate track and field meet, as she placed second in the triple jump (32-9) and third in the high jump (4-9 ½).
Also placing third in two events for the Engineers was sophomore Lucinda Combs (Danville, Ky./Boyle County) in both the triple jump (32-4 ¼) and the long jump (15-5).
The Fightin’ Engineers’ track and field teams return to competition when RHIT travels to the Hanover Invitational March 29 beginning at 11 a.m.