Outdoor track and field start their competitive season

This past weekend, the Lawrence University men and women’s track teams travelled to Beloit, Wis. to participate in the Wisconsin Private College Championships. This was the first meet of the Vikings’ outdoor season. “The goal going into the meet this weekend was to establish a baseline for the season,” stated Assistant Coach Lisha Zill. “Over the break the team trained on their own, so it was a good marker as to how hard they worked. It also sets the stage for how our outdoor season will look over the next two months.” 

For some of the Vikings, the transition from indoor to outdoor has been a little rough, but for others the break has given them some luck in this first meet. “Some of us are a little tired from getting back into the swing of things,” commented senior Josh Janusiak, “and a few of us do have some injuries, but our team also shows a lot of promise as we saw in the meet.” Senior Molly Doruska showed great potential this past weekend in the 5,000-meter run, placing first in the meet and running a new personal record of 19:57.59. Janusiak finished fourth in the 1500-meter run, followed by sophomore Cullen Allard in sixth and junior Joe Kortenhof in eighth place. Freshman Billy Daniels brought the Vikings a fourth-place finish in the 5000-meter run, followed by junior Aaron Arthur, who ran a personal record of 16:51.76, which is about two minutes faster than he had previously run the 5000. 

Sophomore Nora Robinson finished seventh for the Vikings in the 100-meter dash with a time of 13.83. The Vikings also had a strong 4×100-meter relay team on the women’s side consisting of Robinson, sophomores Imani Duhe and Emily Hoeft and junior Mikaela Hintz, who brought in a fourth-place finish with a time of 52.56. The women’s team placed seventh overall in the meet, while the men’s team finished eighth overall in the meet.

Although track and field is ultimately a team sport that is always looking towards improvements, the most important thing to be looking at during this point of the season is individuals staying healthy and working hard during practices. 

“The team is still fighting a few lingering injuries from indoor season,” commented Assistant Coach Zill, “and most are a bit sore and tight from our tough training the first two weeks of the term.” Despite the training being tough, these workouts are what will help the team move forward in the standings and help them prepare for the end of the season. 

“Indoor track seems to have prepared most of us really well for the outdoor season,” added Janusiak. “Now that we’ve established some baseline performances, I think most of our goals are to improve on our personal records so when we get to the big meets at the end of the season, we can all compete to the best of our abilities for the team.”

The main goal for the end of the season and conference right now is to place better than in the previous years, but in order for that to happen, the Wisconsin weather needs to improve a little bit more. The weather has been decent enough over the past couple of weeks for the Vikings, and hopefully it will continue to do the same as they head further into the outdoor season. “Everyone is enjoying the weather as the winter is always tough on our team with no indoor facility to practice in,” commented Assistant Coach Zill. “I always say we are the toughest team to practice outside in the cold and snow—it builds character. We are looking forward to opening up our strides on the outdoor track.” With the goals of performing better in the latter half of the season for the conference meet as well as improving their personal records, the Vikings have a lot to aim for in their next meet. Head Coach Jason Fast commented, “Our season is long and if we want to continue to improve, we need to make sure we are doing all the little things at practice and away from practice to help maximize our health and performance.” 

The next meet that the Vikings have is the Pioneer Invitational on Saturday, Apr. 13, in Waukesha, Wis. For this meet, the team will be focused on individual performances along with recuperating from the hard training in these first couple of weeks since they have returned from Spring Break.