This past weekend four different Milligan sports teams headed up against their rivals in some of the most challenging games and meets they have met this season so far.
The Milligan College men’s and women’s track and field teams continued their 2018 season by competing at the Roanoke College Finn Pincus and the Liberty Kick-Off on Jan. 27-28. Friday, the Liberty Kick-Off was dominated by senior Sarah Kate Gartman and freshman Amy Ferguson. Gartman’s 17 minute, 53 seconds 5k finish was a personal best and a national qualifying A standard. Ferguson followed with a fourth place 5k personal best and a national qualifying B standard with a time of 18:22.
However, day two of the meet was where the Buffs really stood out.
Junior Liz Maller won the women’s weight throw with a 16.46-meter toss that led to a school record, a personal best and a national A standard. Senior JJ Robinson, 2017 cross country All-American, ran a lifetime best mile time of 5 minutes,13.99 seconds. Sophomore Erica Stone ran a national A standard 1k finish with a time of 2 minutes, 59 seconds. Sophomore Romeo Gibbs, 2017 All-American, also ran a personal best in the men’s 200 meter with a time of 22.93 seconds. Gibbs also secured the national A standard in the men’s triple jump with a final 14.24-meter length.
Basketball was another highlight of the weekend filled with sports.
First up, the women’s team faced Allen University. The Lady Buffs played strong until the very end but were ultimately unable to defeat Allen at the Steve Lacy Fieldhouse. The Buffs immediately took the lead at the start of the game but were unable to continue their lead, entering halftime tied up with 30 points. Junior Sarah Robinson led the scoring for the Buffs with a total of 22 points. Junior Mackenzie Raizor and freshman Emma Kate Brown followed with 11 and eight points, respectively. The Buffs rallied until the end but were not able to overcome the Yellow Jackets. The final moments went to the Yellow Jackets with an ending result of 69-59.
“I’m not looking at the stats,” women’s head coach Rich Aubrey said. “Frustrating game because we did not shoot well. I feel like we had quality opportunities, but we couldn’t put the ball in the basket, especially at the free throw line. We need to start making three-pointers to help give us more points on the board. We will definitely keep working on them to improve the outcome in further games.”
Following the women’s game, then men also faced Allen University. The Buffs started out strong, leading the game within the first 20 minutes by at least 12 points. Though the Buffs played well, Allen refused to give up. At several different times in the first half both teams tied up the game, but eventually Allen was able to create a four-point deficit leading into halftime.
Going into the second half, the game tied up another seven times. However, with eight minutes left in the game Allen stayed ahead in points. The Buffs continued to unite and finished within three points of Allen. Sophomore Aaron Levarity led the Buffs in scoring with 22 points and 16 rebounds. Sophomore Daxton Bostian was not far behind, scoring 17 points for the Buffs.
“Very proud of our effort tonight, but we came a few points short. The effort was great, but we need to make more free throws,” head coach Bill Robinson said. “They made more free throws and plays than we did. I still feel like we are getting better for each game though.”
Another Milligan sports team headed off to challenge a rival on Saturday afternoon. The Milligan College swimming team traveled to Mars Hill, NC, to compete in their final meet of the regular season. After a long day of racing, both the men’s and women’s teams came up short. Even still, the Water Buffaloes were able to pick up several wins in individual events. Sophomore Sterling Burnett dominated the men’s side by winning the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 54.90 seconds. On the women’s side, sophomore Sara Farmer won the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 25.88 and also swam to a second place finish in the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 1 minute, 3.15 seconds. Freshman Margaret Halloran was also a standout, winning the 200-meter backstroke with a time of 2:17.19. Freshman Maci Montgomery dominated the women’s 1000-meter freestyle with a time of 11:15.15.