The Harding Invitational was hosted on the Ted Lloyd Track this past Saturday. The meet gave the Bisons their first chance to compete in front of their home crowd.
Senior Cameron Bienz broke his personal high jump record at 6 feet 8.75 inches, placing second overall.
“I wasn’t expecting to break my personal record yesterday,” Bienz said. “It’ll be hard to match it because now that’s my expectation.”
Bienz said he had not seen much improvement in his high jump performance until this year and his goal is to hit 7 feet by the end of the season.
“We had some very good performances all around,” junior Jon Ogle said. “I think all of our work is really paying off.”
Ogle placed eighth overall for pole vault and tied his personal record on Saturday for the third consecutive meet this season.
“We’ve improved a lot over the last meet. As we play more meets every week, we progress,” Ogle said. “We tried to get as much competition as we can to prepare us for our conference meeting in April.”
Harding invited several teams from other conferences, so they would have more competition.
“We invited teams like Rhodes that usually do a bit better than us,” senior thrower Truitt Pierce said. “We only care about our conference and how we measure up to theirs, but we still want the competitive edge of the bigger schools.”
Pierce said that there were two flights of players for each conference depending on class. Each flight had around 20 people competing.
“At Memphis, there were four flights for every competition. They set it up from best to worst,” Pierce said. “You are with everyone that throws around your same range.”
Pierce placed third for men’s hammer at 38.27 meters, seventh in discus at 38.58 meters, and third for men’s shot put at 13.47 meters.
“We had some victories, but it wasn’t our best meeting of the year, but it was a lot better competition being at an (essentially) all D-I meet,” senior sprinter Davon Hulse said.
Hulse said the only school at the invitational from Harding’s conference was the Southern Arkansas University Muleriders, and that this invitational was to help prepare the Bisons for the conference meet later this season.
“You’re going for your personal record all season,” Hulse said. “Every meet, you want to do better, but you want to be at your best at conference and just have a strong performance. That way if you’re going to get points, you want it to be from a really good performance.”
The Harding track team will travel to St. Louis today to compete at the Washington Invitational in St. Louis, Missouri. This will be the Bisons first time performing at this event. The team will also compete tomorrow at the Lindenwood Invitational in St. Charles, Missouri. Both invitationals start at 10 a.m.