Last week, members of the Lawrence Track and Field team traveled to Hillsdale, Michigan to compete at the Gina Relays. With many colleges and universities from across the country, the Gina Relays gives Lawrence runners the unique opportunity to compete against a large field full of tough competition. This is particularly valuable for distance runners, as being surrounded by high class runners will push them to better times. With the conference championship just around the corner, seniors Clare Bruning and Cam Davies, sophomore Erin Schrobilgen and freshman Josh Janusiak traveled to Hillsdale to test themselves against what promised to be a highly competitive matchup. “We got to compete against runners we had never seen before, some that were out of our league, and it forced us to adapt and go faster than we have all season,” says Bruning.
Bruning and Schrobilgen competed together in a field of 90 runners in the five kilometer race. The two Viking runners worked together in the race to take 61st and 63rd, respectively. Bruning finished in 18:51 with Shcobilgen right at her heels at 18:52. Michigan State freshman Jenny Rogers won the race in 17:13.
Freshman Josh Janusiak also competed at Hillsdale in his first-ever 10-kilometer race. Janusiak finished second in the race with a time of 32:25, a mark that is currently the best in the conference. “I think it was a pretty good debut,” says Janusiak. “I think I have even faster times in me since the race was a little slow in the beginning, and I felt really strong for most of it.” Look for Janusiak to continue to improve as he gains more experience in a race that is already his forte.
Senior Cam Davies competed in the three-kilometer steeplechase the next day. Davies finished 22nd out of a field of 34. His time of 9:31 gives him the number one seed in the conference and puts him in a great position moving forward. Additionally, Davies’ time is ranked 47th nationally in Division Three. Davies is currently the only member of the track team to be nationally ranked.
Next weekend, the entire Viking Track team will compete at their only home meet of the year as they sharpen up for the conference championship. “Some of us will use the home meet to refine our racing techniques, we will get in some good recovery, and we’ll be ready for conference,” says Janusiak. The Viking Invitational will take place this Saturday, May 7 at Alexander Gymnasium.