STRIDING: Col. City runners making mark at Manchester U. track

Sophomore Samina Qureshi (left), shown here in the 3,000 meters, is one of three former Columbia City runners who are having an impact on the track program at Manchester University. The other two are senior Tiffany Harber and freshman Hannah Wappes.
Staff Writer

Just as it was the last time the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships visited Rose-Hulman’s Fieldhouse, the 2017 edition went down the wire for team title honors Saturday with three former Columbia City runners helping the Manchester University women to a third-place finish.

Despite seeing a remarkable run of five straight league titles combined in indoor and outdoor track and field and cross country conclude at the end of a intense day of competition, Coach Brian Cashdollar’s crew took away plenty of positives.

The Spartans, battling eventual champion Hanover College and runner-up and host Rose-Hulman nip-and-tuck throughout the afternoon and early evening, produced five individual event titles en route to 120 points. Hanover narrowly edged them for first (130), while the Fightin’ Engineers tallied 126 for second.

Senior distance runner Mariah Jordan from Fort Wayne won the 800 (2:23.15), mile (5:30.96) and 3,000 (11:14.56) and then anchored the distance medley relay team composed of herself and three former Columbia City track and cross-country runners. Jordan joined fellow senior Tiffany Harber, freshman Hannah Wappes and sophomore Samina Qureshi all from Columbia City to take first in the distance medley relay in a time of 13:27.73.

Harber was also in multiple title territory, picking up two wins with the distance medley relay and a victory in the 5,000 meters in 18:46.08
Wappes was just seventh-tenths behind her to take second in the 800 in a time of 2:23.87.

Wappes, Harber and freshman Emily Ewen from Wolcott put four Spartans in the top five of the 3,000 meters with Jordan taking the win, Wappes taking third in 11:18.06 and Harber taking fourth at placing third in 11:212.09 and Ewen placing fifth.

Wappes joined Jordan, Dasia Beck and sophomore Jade Bollett from Auburn to take third in the 1,600 meter relay in a time of 4:17.94.

Manchester University resumes its 2017 season Saturday at Anderson University’s Fred Wilt Invitational.