PELLA, Iowa – The Simpson track and field teams turned in four first-place finishes on Saturday, opening the 2012 outdoor season at the Central Invitational.
The women's team scored 53 points, placing fourth of 14 teams. The men scored 49 points for sixth, finishing a point behind Northwestern, North Iowa Area CC and William Penn who tied for third.
"I am very proud of how we performed for the first meet of season," seventh-year head coach Dave Cleveland said. "It was a high-caliber meet with great competition from schools ranging from Division I, II, III JUCO and NAIA. As with any opening meet, it was a mixed bag of success, some potential, and areas we need to work on, but I am pleased with our overall effort."
Competing in an outdoor event for the first time in nearly two years after missing 2011 due to injury, four-time All-American Catie Ellingson picked up where she left off in 2010 by winning the 1500 in 4:38.84. She beat three runners from NCAA Division I Northern Iowa and Coe's Keilie Finnel.
Kinsey Bak provided the other first-place finish for the women's team, winning the long jump with a career-best effort of 17-9 ½. Bak added a second-place finish in the high jump (5-2 ¼), took sixth in both the javelin throw (105-10) and 100 hurdles (16.14).
April Sigmund contributed in the 400 meter dash, taking fourth in 1:01.07.
Ben Coy highlighted the Storm's appearance on the men's side, winning the 400 meters in a career-best time of 49.57. Coy, a senior and four-year letterwinner as a receiver on the Storm football team, made his return to the track team for the first time since his freshman year during the indoor season.
Mitchell Davis ran a career-best time of his own in the 5,000 meters, crossing the finish line in 15:36.10 to best the field by more than seven seconds.
Sprinter Brad Vogel ran to a second-place finish in the 100 meters, breaking 11 seconds for the first time in his career by breaking the tape in 10.88.
John Cord chipped in with a second-place effort in the javelin throw, registering a heave of 172-2.
Simpson has a quick turnaround before its next meet, the Loras Invitational on Wednesday, April 4.