WKU Men’s Track and Field place eighth while Women’s place 10th in Conference USA Indoor Track and Field Championship


Arthur H. Trickett-Wile

WKU Hilltoppers’ fifth-year Savannah Heckman (8) competes in the mile at the Lenny Lyles Invitational track and field meet Saturday, Jan. 28 of 2022 at the Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

Izzy Lanuza, Sports Reporter

WKU Track and Field wrapped up its 2022 Indoor season, with the women placing 10th and the men placing eighth in Conference USA Indoor Track & Field Championship in Birmingham, Ala., Saturday and Sunday. 

“I think we had a good showing this weekend,” Director of Cross Country/Track & Field Brent Chumbley said in a press release. “Considering the small group we had, the men and women fought hard for every point we earned. We scored more than we projected, so I am proud of the team’s effort. We need more people to fill in the gaps of the events we couldn’t fill this weekend, and that falls on the staff to work harder and get more people on the Hill. Looking ahead, I think this team is better suited for outdoor, and I’ll expect more out of us as the season progresses.”


WKU had two performances that made the Hilltopper indoor record. 

Junior Devon Montgomery set a new personal best of 4.74 meters in the pole vault, the third best in program history. The men’s Distance Medley Relay team, consisting of seniors Clint Sherman and Dedrick Troxell and freshmen Jordan Eddy and Trey Kraimer ran the fourth best time in program history of 10:09.13. Both placed fifth in their events, scoring four points each for the Hilltoppers. 

Fifth-year senior Savannah Heckman picked up five points after placing fourth in the women’s 5k. Freshmen Alija Basic and Aitana Safont Falomir logged major personal bests and placed fifth and sixth in weight throws. Basic recorded a 17.97 meter throw and Falomir threw 17.74 meters. 

Senior Brett Brannon threw 17.46 meters in the men’s weight throw, picking up three points for the men’s team. 

The men’s team finished the day with 11 points, putting them in eighth place. The women’s team finished in 10th with 11 points. 

For qualifying in preliminary races, sophomore Demetrius Rolle qualified for the 60m with a new PR of 6.72 while junior Cedric Johnson qualified for hurdles and Sherman and Troxell qualified for the finals in the mile. 


Senior Katie Isenbarger and Rolle placed third in their respective events and made the podium. Both were named Third-Team All Conference for the 2022 indoor year. 

The women’s team finished 10th with 22 points while the men’s team scored 30 points, finishing in eighth place. The 10th place finish was the best for the women’s since the indoor championships in 2019.

Isenbarger scored six points for the women’s squad after clearing a height of 1.78 meters, placing third in high jump. Junior Grace Turner also finished sixth in high jump, scoring three points. 

Rolle advanced to the 60-meter finals, running a 6.75 to earn himself a bronze medal while scoring six points for the men’s side. Johnson competed in the 60m hurdles, finishing in eighth place and picking up one point for the men’s squad.

“I was very proud of Demetrius competing this weekend, especially being in lane one,” WKU assistant coach Tosha Ansley said in a press release. “We wish we could’ve been in the center lane in the center of the track with everyone else, but things happen. The most important thing for him was to stay focused and run his race. I was very proud of him and how he raced to the best of his ability. Do we want gold? Always. But I’m always happy with them when they make it to the podium, because we’re trying to go for school records.”

“As far as CJ [Johnson] is concerned, I’m very proud of him getting to the finals of the 60-meter hurdles,” Ansley continued. “It’s been a long season for him in that aspect. because he came in running in the 9s and now he’s doing mid-8s. He’s still learning and developing, and I look forward to his continued development as we go into outdoor. I’m always super proud of the kids in how they’re doing and competing. We’ll see how they do in outdoor.”

Heckman once again had an impressive performance on the distance side, placing seventh in the women’s 3k with a new personal record of 9:39.86. She now has the fourth fastest time in the WKU female indoor records book for that event. 

Troxell finished fourth place in the men’s mile, barely missing the podium by five one-hundredths of a second, with a time of  4:10.48. He scored five points for the Hilltoppers while Sherman also ran in the event and finished in ninth.

Sophomore Kaison Barton and senior John Elam placed fourth and fifth in men’s shot put, respectively. Barton threw 16.71 meters, scoring five points, while Elam threw 15.70 meters and finished eighth to score one point.

“The goal coming into this meet is always to put our best performances together by taking what we’ve learned about ourselves through the regular season meets and applying that knowledge here,” WKU assistant coach Brooks LeCompte said. “Some were able to do that, some were not. Nothing is given in this sport, you have to be able to go out and take it. I want to shout out Savannah Heckman, who since day one, has trusted me as her coach and has done everything possible to be the best athlete she could be.”

WKU will start the outdoor season March 25-26 in the Ole Miss Classic in Oxford, Miss.

Sports Reporter Izzy Lanuza can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @izzylanuza