This past weekend Lawrence’s Indoor Track team went to Jacksonville, Ill. to compete in the Midwest Conference Championships. The meet was hosted by Illinois College.
The first day of the meet included many strong performances for the Lawrence Women. Junior Hannah Kinzer won all conference honors in the women’s 5000 with a third place score in 18:54.54. Senior Kate Kilgus placed seventh in the mile in 5:23.44, along with juniors Janey Degnan and Fanita Robins and freshmen Mikaela Hintz, who won fourth in the sprint medley team with 4:33.40. Overall the women were eighth with 13 points—St. Norbert College leading with 91.5 points.
On the second day, Kinzer ran to fourth in a personal best time in the 3,000 in 10:54.28. The distance medley team of Amy Hutchings, Mikaela Hintz, Christina Sedall and Kate Kilgus placed third in a time of 13:15.09. The 4×400 team of Kilgus, Hintz, Hutchings and Degnan also had a seasonal best time at 4:17.35 to take fourth. Sedall ran to eighth in the 800 meter at 2:33.59.
For the men, the first day also had many notable performances. Senior Wes Hetcher won an individual placement in the pole vault with seventh at 12 feet 6 inches. Senior Jackson Straughan also placed with seventh in shotput 41-6. The men’s 4×200 relay of freshmen Will Nichols, Noah Shea and Terrell Myers and sophomore Dan Sandacz won eighth in 1:34.43. Sophmore Josh Janusiak took home the victory for the team, pacing the Vikings with his win in the 5,000 with 15:18.88. He won by almost 12 seconds over Grinnell’s John Lennon at 15:30.34. This victory was the first track title for Janusiak, who won the leagues cross country crown last year. Sophomore Ben Schafer also placed in the 5,000 in seventh place, at 16:15.73 seconds. The men ended the day in eighth place with 17 points, Monmouth leading with 62 points.
The men had a great second day. Janusiak ran the 3,000 and led until the last 300 meters, over which he was beaten by Cornell’s Mason Wicker. Janusiak came in fourth at 8:52.29, unbeaten by anyone who had raced him the day before in the 5,000. Sandacz won fifth in the 60 hurdles in 9.04 seconds, and Straughan won seventh in the weight throw 45-7. Nichols ran to eighth in the 400 in 51.62 seconds, and the distance medley team of Shea, Schaefer, Terrell Myers and Max Edwards came in eighth at 11:24.96. The day ended for the Vikings with freshman Shea’s title in the triple jump. This was his longest jump of the season at 44 feet and four inches, winning by over 9 inches against the second place contender from Beloit. Shea was named the Newcomer of the Year at the Midwest Conference Championship meet, and this was his first conference title. Additionally, Shea’s victory was Lawrence’s first in the triple jump since Kolade Agbaje-Williams in 2006. Shea was the only freshman to win an individual title at the championships.
Lawrence’s athletes were happy with how the meet went. Sedall said, “This weekend in Jacksonville I’ve never felt more proud to be part of the Lawrence track team. The thing I remember most are people’s reactions: Tobin’s huge smile across the gym after she threw a PR in the weight throw, Noah’s fist pump after his conference winning triple jump, and Coach holding Hannah in his arms after her incredibly executed 5K race. My teammates seriously competed. They were composed and unrelenting. I loved every second of it.” Kinzer added that “This conference track meet was one of our most successful meets in my time at Lawrence. Many people had personal records, we had several medal winners, and there was a lot of positive energy going into and coming from the meet. It is hard to be out of town during one of the most intense weeks of the term, but people rose to the challenge and performed outstandingly. The competition was tough, but we make up for having a small team by having quality members and team-wide support. I am excited to see what outdoor holds for this team!” Make sure to check out the final conference of the indoor track season March fourth at the UW- Stevens Point Last Chance Meet!