The Bellarmine University track and field teams are set to compete Thursday-Saturday at the Great Lakes Valley Conference Outdoor Championships at the Michael J. Vallone/Class of 1960 Complex on the campus of Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana.

Bellarmine’s women placed second in February’s indoor version of the event. The Knights were also the runner-up at last year’s GLVC Outdoor Championships. Lewis is the defending champion in both, with an indoor title to the Flyers’ name this season.

The same goes for the men’s side. Lewis claimed this year’s conference indoor championship after closing last year with an outdoor title. Bellarmine placed eighth at the indoor meet.

As their GLVC indoor performance suggests, Bellarmine’s women will have no shortage of potential scorers – the top 8 in each event accumulate points – at the outdoor contest. In the GLVC Outdoor Performance List, the Knights have two student-athletes ranked first in the league: junior Erin Crone in the 1500 meters and sophomore Yashira Rhymer-Stuart in the high jump.

Rhymer-Stuart is tied for sixth in the national rankings. She won the GLVC indoor title in the event and is coming off a second-team All-America outing at the DII NCAA Indoor Championships. In addition to the 1500, Crone is ranked second in the GLVC in the 5000 and fourth in the 800. Crone won the conference indoor championship in the mile.

Bellarmine’s women’s cross country team captured second place at the GLVC Championships in the fall and helped set the tone for an impressive collection of middle- and long-distance performers in the track seasons. Along with Crone, sophomore Karly Gawarecki (No. 3) and juniors Sarah Schuster (No. 5) and Caitlin Carroll (No. 7) are ranked in the 1500 in the GLVC. Gawarecki was second-team All-GLVC in the indoor 5000.

Also like Crone, Gawarecki is featured prominently in the conference rankings. In addition to her spot in the 1500, she’s fourth in the 10000 and fifth in the 5000. Schuster is ranked third in the 800 and sophomore Megan Line is eighth. Carroll is rated seventh in the 3000 steeplechase.

While Meghan Roby has dealt with injury in the outdoor season, the junior is still ranked sixth in the 400. Roby captured GLVC Indoor Track Athlete of the Year honors and was a first-team All-American in the 200 and the 400.

Junior Amanda Schnabel is ranked third in the GLVC in the 100 and 400 hurdles. Freshman Ashley Reyna-Padilla is fourth in the 400 and freshman Victoria McKenzie is eighth in the 100. The Knights’ 4×400 and 4×100 relay teams are ranked third and fourth, respectively, in the conference.

In the field events, junior Bridgette Mangold is ranked second in the league in the pole vault and was second-team All-GLVC at the indoor event. Senior Leah Wolf is ranked seventh in the discus.

Senior Nick Christensen is Bellarmine’s highest-ranked male, entering the GLVC Outdoor Championships at No. 2 in the 10000. Christensen achieved top 7s in the 3000 and 5000 at the indoor conference meet.

Freshman Ben Stone is tied for a No. 5 ranking in the pole vault after placing fifth at the indoor meet. Sophomore Alexie Robles is ranked seventh in the GLVC in the high jump, as is senior Dillon Pruett in the hammer throw. Junior Nathan Wilkey is ranked eighth in the 800.

The GLVC Championships will be streamed live on the GLVC Sports Network (GLVCSN). All coverage can be found on the official GLVCSN website.

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by Adam Pruiett