This past weekend, February 22nd and 23rd, two Oilers got to participate in a competition that featured some of the most elite track and field athletes from across the nation. Junior Justin Welch and Derrick Vicars got to travel to the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This meet featured Olympic caliber athletes and has played host to such names as women's sprinters Gail Devers and Sanya Richards-Ross and men's sprinters Maurice Green and Michael Johnson.
Welch, a Luckey, Ohio native, competed in the men's 35 lb. weight throw. The record for this meet was set in 1995 by American Lance Deal, a participant in the 1988, 1992, 1996, and 2000 Summer Olympics and took home a silver medal in 96'. His throw of 25.86 meters still stands as the world record.
The winner of the event on was three time Olympian AG Krueger, who had a throw of 23.70m. Welch placed sixth place in the event with a throw that measured 21.77m or 71'05.25 ft. This throw met the NCAA automatic qualifying mark.
Vicars competed in the men's shot put and placed 9th with a throw of 18.49m or 60'08.00 ft. The winner of this competition was Ryan Whiting, whose resume includes six NCAA national titles and United States representation at the 2011 World Championships and 2012 Olympics, defeated the field with his throw of 22.23m, a meet record.
Welch and the rest of the Oilers will be back in action this coming Saturday and Sunday, March 1st and 2nd, for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Championships in Hillsdale, Michigan.