It was a beautiful, albeit a slightly windy, day at the Lawrence University Track and Field facilities next to the Alexander Gymnasium when the Vikings hosted the 2nd annual Lawrence Invitational last Saturday. The sun and the warmer temperatures, along with a few stellar performances, helped to make the meet a great success for Lawrence.
The meet featured athletes from two other highly competitive conference teams – Ripon and St. Norbert – and the Vikings got a chance to match up against some of what will be their competition during the upcoming Conference Championships. “We really got to gauge ourselves against some of the individuals we will face come conference,” noted senior Dan Thoresen. “You can’t always do that at a larger meet.”
Led by the efforts of sophomore Sophie Yang, the women’s team had a stellar day both on the track and in the field. Yang, a native of Whitefish Bay, Wis., nabbed the top spot in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 16.91 seconds. She also won the pole-vault competition with her jump of 9 feet, 5.75 inches. Yang rounded out the day’s events with a second-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:12.52.
The women’s distance team also had a big day, continuing their dominance on the track. Sophomore Anna Bolgrien, who recently converted from a sprinter to a strong mid-distance runner, had the fastest time in the open 800-meter race. Bolgrien crossed the line in 2:25.45. Her teammate, freshman Kate Kilgus, finished right behind her and took second place with a time of 2:26.18.
Along with that, freshman Kelsey Miles won the 3000-meter steeplechase in 13:34.56. Sophomore Clare Bruning won the 5000-meter run by over a minute with her time of 18:49.94, which was a huge personal best for her.
Sophomore JP Ranumas claimed the only victory of the day on the men’s side. Ranumas took the top spot in the 110-meter hurdles with his time of 15.83. The sophomore has been dominant in the event all year.
Another notable event was the hotly contested 800-meter race. Senior Mike Mangian fell to Nick Luedtke of St. Norbert by less than three-tenths of a second. Nonetheless, Mangian had a season-best time of 1:58.38.
In throwing competition, junior Spencer Swick grabbed the third longest shot of the day with his throw of 44 feet, and sophomore James Holden nabbed third in the javelin with his throw of 147 feet, 6 inches.
This weekend is the final test for the Vikings as they travel to Grinnell College to compete in the Midwest Athletic Conference Championships.