Vikings endure the cold weather in pursuit of success

Despite the cold temperatures and the snow, the Lawrence University men’s and women’s track and field team have been working hard in the Buchanan-Kiewit Wellness Center, down in the Banta Bowl, out around Appleton and in the weight room in the Alexander Gym.

The team faces all of the challenges together and attempts to make it fun. As junior Claire Schrier explained, “Even though I am quite new to this program as a transfer student, there is so much about track and field at Lawrence that makes it exceptionally special. It amazes me each and every day to step back and look at the progress our team has made without even physically having an indoor track (like all other schools in our conference have the privilege of) to practice our workouts and physical techniques on to prepare for meets. Instead, our team is fortunate enough to have a coaching staff that cares so much about their athletes to wake up on a cold morning after it has snowed, pack on the layers to keep them warm and go out to the Banta Bowl and shovel the accurate shape and perimeter/size of the equivalent to an indoor track—all to provide us with the best scenario to prepare for competition together at our best. Sometimes it is so cold out there during our workouts, but it has gotten to a point where the temperature outside doesn’t even phase me. Why? because I am surrounded by my family. All running circles around the same outdoor/indoor Banta Bowl track, freezing our little bottoms off, AS A TEAM. We do it together. We run different races but simultaneously grow stronger and faster as a TEAM. When I look at what is special, it’s every layer I have to put on to keep me warm is what counts the most. It means the world to me to see my teammates all bundled up together with no doubt of anyone saying, ‘I quit.’ We are one. We are the individuals that come to together every day and CHOOSE to make this sport special. Because we care. We love the sport. We love each other. And that is what makes special, even better.”

Lawrence traveled to Ripon, Wis. this past Friday for their second indoor meet of the season. On both the men’s and women’s sides there were strong performance. Senior Josh Janusiak led the men as he won the 3000-meter run. Freshman Julian Garcia was sixth in the 800-meter run. The women had a number of individuals place in their respective events. In the 3000-meter run, freshman Leah Hawksford was second, junior Christina Sedall was third and senior Molly Doruska was fourth. Schrier picked up another second-place finish for the Lady Vikes in the 800-meter run. Junior Mikaela Hintz picked up a sixth-place finish in the 200-meter dash.

In the field events, Lawrence was led by freshman Sara Klemme and sophomore Emily Hoeft. Klemme was fourth in the shotput while Hoeft was fourth in the triple jump. Senior Tobin Carlson also finished sixth in the weight throw for the Lady Vikes.

After the meet, Schrier said, “This season is going great. The Vikings are fighting our best fight thus far in the season. With only two meets under our belt, we have managed to accomplish quite a bit (individually) but more importantly, together. Our most recent meet was the Ripon Redhawk Opener. I placed second in the 800-meter dash for the women with a time of 2:27. My 800m time now holds the third best time in the Midwest Conference.” After other meets over the weekend, Schrier’s time ranked fourth in the Midwest Conference.

Klemme added, “The season is going well. I’m proud of the way I have been throwing and I’m happy with the distances. My favorite part of the season is getting to know my teammates and making friends for life. They’re people I talk to now that I probably wouldn’t have if I wasn’t on the track team. My goals for the season are to break both shotput school records. I’m extremely close to the indoor record which I should break in the next couple of meets. I’m pretty excited.”

The final event of the meet, the 4×400-meter relay was full of excitement and strong performances for the Lawrence women as well. Schrier explains the excitement of the 4×4 saying, “My favorite part of track and field are the 4×4 relays among the men and the women at meets. The 4×4 relay races are typically the last races of the meet considering everyone is wiped out from their previous events. On the women’s behalf, it is one of the most invigorating 4:30 seconds that goes on over the course of my entire week prior to the meet. Participating in the relays brings an especially incredible feeling of pure adrenaline. It runs through my body with full blown excitement. On the other hand, when I am spectating some of the other women compete or men, seems to be just as invigorating as it is to physically be in the relay. The passion that is expressed through sweat from competition and tears from cheering on the sidelines is unlike something I have ever experienced in or at a sporting event, (especially during my time here at Lawrence). It truly feels like we (the LUTF team) are in it together; not only for ourselves, but for each other as teammates and LU as a whole.”

In the actual race, the Lawrence women were wrapped in a tight battle with Ripon that came down to the final straightaway. The team of Hoeft, Schrier, sophomore Alyssa Kuss and Hintz ended up second but had an extremely strong time of 4:23.06. They are currently ranked fourth in the Midwest Conference.

The Vikings have a weekend off before heading back to Ripon for their next week. The team will use this time to train as they prepare for the Midwest Conference Indoor Championships at the end of February.