Men’s and Women’s track teams finish as runner-ups at their first inaugural West Liberty Invitational

The West Liberty men’s and women’s Track and Field teams both finished as runners-up at the first ever inaugural West Liberty Invitational meet at the West Liberty Family Athletic Complex on Saturday. There was a real buzz around the hilltop as the Track and Field program finally got the chance to host a meet for the first time since their brand new facility was built almost two years ago.

This excitement also came with expectation as each team had delivered some impressive finishes earlier in the season with both continuing their fine form with a number of admirable performances both individually and collectively. Wheeling University took top spot on both sides of the meet with both competitions coming down to the final events as the Cardinals pipped WLU by just one point on the men’s side and 24 on the women’s.

The Hilltopper men took top spot in five events with a number of athletes claiming second and third places as well. Phil White and Zac Banks gave extremely impressive performances in the 10,000 metres and 3000-meter steeplechase to give the Toppers their first wins of the day, while Danah Phillips and Brenden Sands took first and second places in the 1500 meters. To round off a number of successes on the track Tavian Richardson finished second in the 400 meters before the WLU 4x100m relay team finished the day by taking home first place.

They also had a lot of joy away from the track with various athletes having strong finishes in the jumping and throwing events. Grant Sproull and Gary Braithwaite were first and second in the javelin while Corey Wyttenbach and Dillon Meintel placed second and third in both the high jump and the triple jump.

The Lady Toppers had an impressive seven individual champions with All-MEC thrower Kelsi Hulit recording two of them. Hulit notched up a team-high 36 points with first place finishes in the javelin and discuss before finishing second and third in the hammer and shot respectively. Hannah Kemp, who recently received MEC Track Athlete of the Week and broke the school 5000 metres record, finished first in the 1500 metres with teammate Emily Louk finishing behind her in second place.
Louk finished in first place in the 400 metres just in front of Ryan Wilson while Nicole Groseclose won the 3000-metre steeplechase. Aubree Storey matched Hulit by recording two wins on the day, finishing first in both the triple jump and high jump to cap off a productive day for both teams.

The Hilltoppers clearly thrived off the home atmosphere in this meet and both teams will surely be hoping to go one better and take home first place in next year’s competition. Next up for the two teams is a trip to Walsh University (Ohio) for a meet in North Canton Ohio this Friday, April 9 as preparations for the MEC Championships in May begin to heat up. For more information go to