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A handful of freshmen came up big to lead the William Penn women’s track and field team at the Midwest Collegiate Conference Outdoor Championships Saturday and Sunday.

The Statesmen placed fourth out of six teams with 94 points.  St. Ambrose won its first team title since 2010 with 244 points, while Mount Mercy was a close second with 228 points.

Tarah Alexander (Fr., Cedar, Iowa, Undecided) paved the way for WPU by winning the 800-meter run with a time of 2:20.85.

Jazmine Epps (Fr., Princeton, Texas) had a full program, but did not let it bog her down.  The freshman placed in the top four in four individual events, including taking second in the long jump at 17-3.5.  She was also third in both the high jump (5-1) and 200-meter dash (26.07 seconds), and was fourth in the 100-meter dash at 12.67 seconds.

Jordan Machorro (Fr., Allen, Texas, Business Management) also earn points in multiple events, finishing fourth in the discus at 127-11 and seventh in the shot put at 36-5.5.

Alora Simmons (Fr., Newton, Iowa, Elementary Education) matched Epps in the high jump at 5-1, but held the tiebreaker to place second.

Meaghan Foster (Fr., Centerville, Iowa, Undecided) claimed bronze in the shot put at 41-7, while Audre Harris (Sr., Junction City, Kan., Undecided) was the highest non-freshman scorer.  The senior was fourth in the 100-meter hurdles at 16.10 seconds.

Valinn McReynolds (Grad., Bellville, Texas, Masters of Business Leadership) was fifth in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 5:10.39.  Both McReynolds and Harris competed in the last conference championships of their careers and likely also made their final appearances on the oval as Statesmen athletes.

Kristin Lastovka (Fr., Brooklyn, Iowa, Business Management) matched McReynolds by placing fifth in the hammer at 136-1.  Sade Myers (So., Honolulu, Hawaii, Elementary Education), with a 400-meter dash time of 1:02.08, and Emma Hoerr (Fr., Chillicothe, Ill.), with a discus hurl of 124-8, both placed sixth for the navy and gold.

William Penn also produced points in the relays, headlined by a runner-up finish in the 4×100-meter race (50.48 seconds).  The 4×800 squad was third with a new school record of 10:11.83, and the 4×400 group was fourth at 4:12.67.

Mount Mercy’s Jenna Higgins was named MCC Track Athlete of the Year, while Val Veiock of Grand View earned MCC Field AOY honors.  St. Ambrose’s Dan Tomlin received Coach of the Year laurels from his peers.

Next: William Penn may take a few select individuals somewhere next weekend for a Last Chance Meet.  Foster currently is the team’s lone women’s national qualifier.

(release courtesy of

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