Sports update Jan. 17: Track teams fare well in opening meet

The indoor track and field teams combined to win six events, and senior Elizabeth Phillips set a school record in the women’s 600 meters Jan. 14 at the Titan Opener hosted by Illinois Wesleyan University at the Shirk Center in Bloomington, Ill.

Phillips clocked a school-record time of 1:35.78 to finish second in the 600 for the WUSTL women, who had three individual event champions at the meet.

Sophomore Anna Etherington cleared a season-best height of 3.51 meters to lead a first-through fourth-place sweep for the Bears in the pole vault. Etherington’s mark bettered her previous season-best of 3.35m, and moved her into fourth on the NCAA Division III performance list this season. She was selected as the UAA Women’s Athlete of the Week for her performance in the pole vault.

On the men’s side, senior Tyler Jackson won the 55-meter hurdles in a season-best time of 7.66 seconds. Jackson’s time converted to 8.25 seconds for the 60 hurdles, which is the third-fastest time in NCAA Division III this season. Jackson also earned UAA Athlete of the Week honors for his performance on the hurdles.

Fellow senior Justin Pieper cleared a height of 2.00m to tie for first in the high jump, narrowly missing on his attempts to tie the school record of 2.03. Pieper’s mark ranks fourth on the Division III performance list.

Both track teams return to Bloomington, Ill., for their next meet Saturday, Jan. 21. The teams will take on Illinois Wesleyan University and University of Chicago in a scored triangular set to begin at noon at the Shirk Center.

Men’s basketball grabs first place in UAA

The men’s basketball team moved into sole possession of the University Athletic Association (UAA) standings with a hard-fought 66-64 victory at Carnegie Mellon University Jan. 15.

Sophomore Chris Klimek scored a career-high 17 points and pulled down a career-best nine boards in the win, while freshman Matt Palucki tied a career-best with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Junior Ben Hoener also scored in double figures with 10 points off the bench.

The Bears opened the road trip with an 87-71 victory at Case Western Reserve University Jan. 13. WUSTL shot a season-high 55.2 percent from the field and had 23 assists in the win. Hoener led four Bears in doubles figures with a season-high 16 points on 7-of-7 shooting in 18 minutes off the bench. Klimek (15 points), senior Dylan Richter (14 points) and junior Robert Burnett (13 points) also scored in double figures for the Bears. The 13 points for Burnett was a career-high.

The Bears (11-3, 3-0 UAA) return home to host four conference games in the next two weeks. WUSTL hosts Brandeis University at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, and No. 23 New York University at noon Sunday, Jan. 22.

Women’s basketball sweeps road games

The women’s basketball team improved to 12-2 on the season with a pair of University Athletic Association (UAA) road wins Jan. 13 and 15.

The Bears earned a 63-38 win at Case Western Reserve University Jan. 13, before posting an 80-68 win at Carnegie Mellon University Jan. 15. Freshman Melissa Gilkey had a big weekend for the Bears on her first UAA road trip of her career. Gilkey led WUSTL with 14 points and five rebounds in the win over Case Western Reserve, and followed that with a career-high 21 points and eight rebounds against Carnegie Mellon.

On the weekend, Gilkey shot .667 from the field and was 11-of-12 from the free-throw line. Senior Claire Schaeperkoetter added 13 points in the win over Case Western Reserve. Three other players scored in double figures for the Bears in the win over Carnegie Mellon – senior Dani Hoover tallied 16 points, while sophomore Jordan Rettig and senior Brianne Monahan added 12 and 10 points each, respectively.

The Bears (12-2, 2-1 UAA) begin a four-game home stand this weekend. WUSTL hosts Brandeis University at 6 p.m. Jan. 20Friday and New York University at 2 p.m. Jan. 22 at the WU Field House.

Swimming and diving hosts WU Invitational

The women’s swimming and diving team finished second and the men finished third at the WU Invitational Jan. 13 and 14.

The women won four out of five titles in the individual freestyle event to lead the team to the runner-up finish. Freshman Jennifer Tartavull won the 100-yard freestyle, and added a runner-up finish in the 200-free and a third-place finish in the 50-free.

Freshmen Zane Turpin and Luke Dobben led the men’s team with two runner-up finishes each. Dobben swam a pair of season-best times to finish second in the 1,650-free and the 200-free. Turpin placed second in the 200-butterfly and the 400-individual medley, while also adding a third-place finish in the 1,650-free.

The swimming and diving teams also had two special events at the WU Invitational. The Bears hosted several Special Olympics athletes for the Jan. 13 competition. Prior to the Jan. 14 events, WUSTL recognized its 12 seniors – Evan Dorshorst, Billy Griffitts, Ben Halperin, Mike Rao, John Scott, Nick Thornburg, Chris Valach, Erika Antisdale, Kerri Blumer, Caroline Lee, Catherine Rafferty-Millett, and Amy Vanlishout.

The Bears travel to Principia College for their next meet at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, in Elsah, Ill.