As the weather finally gets warmer and the snow melts, the Lawrence University Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams (Vikings) welcome the beginning of the outdoor season. Although most athletes participate in both indoor and outdoor track, outdoor sees the Vikings at their finest. This year the Vikings will look to build upon the progress that they made in their training during the winter. With the bigger outdoor track, better training conditions and a greater variety of events, the outdoor season will be a great opportunity for the Vikings to work hard and improve upon the men’s eighth-place and women’s ninth-place finishes in the Conference meet during indoor.
As always, the Vikings’ main goal for the season is to place as high as possible at Conference. “If everything goes right, I could see us placing as high as fourth,” says senior Tyler Herman. The Vikings have set a high bar for themselves, especially considering their indoor finish, but the team has plenty of talent to take them there.
Coming off of very successful Cross Country and indoor seasons, the men’s team welcomes the return of the distance duo junior Max Edwards and freshman Josh Janusiak. The two were top finishers in the indoor Conference three-kilometer race, so look for the two to continue their success in the longer five-kilometer and even ten-kilometer outdoor races. Placed together in the Distance Medley Relay (DMR), the powerful combination of Herman, senior Cam Davies, sophomore Ethan Gniot and freshman Mayan Essak was only narrowly edged out of an indoor Conference championship.
Although the DMR does not exist in outdoor, look for these four make valuable contributions at the top of the distance and mid-distance races. Additionally, freshman Ben Schaefer is poised to have a breakout outdoor season and should consistently finish ahead of many of his older competitors.
On the women’s side, seniors Clare Bruning and Liz Landes will look to finish their successful Lawrence careers with victories in the distance races. Also expect sophomore Erin Schrobilgen to continue to push for those top spots in the 5K, and she is poised to have a breakout year in the 1,500 meter. Sophomore Sage Greenlee will also look to make a statement after her sixth-place high jump finish at indoor Conference. Look for her to lead the Lady Vikimgs in the field events.
After a tough winter full of hardships, poor training conditions, and the inability to practice on a real indoor track, the Vikings are eager to begin their next track season. Look for the Vikings to continue to reach the peak of their training and compete at an even higher level as they push for a top conference finish. The Vikings will also host their only home meet of the year on May 7, so be sure to support the Vikings as they push to improve.