Vikings track finds success at Titan Challenge meet

The Lawrence track team traveled to UW-Oshkosh on Saturday to compete in their final regular-season meet, with many team members performing well in their events.

Both head coach Jason Fast and assistant coach A.J. Hollenquest are alumni of the UW-Oshkosh track team. On Saturday, their team participated in over a dozen events throughout the course of the meet, with standout performances by sophomore Edythmae Frodl, who won the 5K race with a time of 19:28.32, and the women’s 4×400-meter relay squad, who placed second.

Sophomore Riley Winebrenner, who is also on the Vikings’  cross country team, ran in the 3K race. She placed first in her heat and eighth overall. Prior to her race, she and the other runners in her heat warmed up: a warm-up run before donning her running spikes, then dynamic warm-ups – including skipping and stretches – and running strides. “Then, it’s go time,” she said.

During the race, Winebrenner focused on pushing herself to keep up a strong pace and not to settle as she ran the fifteen laps of her event, relying on the hard work she had put in during practice to prepare. As she ran, teammates watched from around the indoor track and cheered her on, which helped to further motivate her. After her win, she was congratulated by those same teammates, did a cool-down run and went to cheer on other Vikings in their own events.

Another noteworthy performance belonged to sophomore Mariana Zendejas, who took seventh place in the triple jump with a distance of 33’8”. Speaking to her mentality on meet days, Zendejas described that she approaches meets by not placing too many expectations on herself and trying to do her best no matter what. She described that “all day, I tried to be present and work through the overwhelming environment.” Despite the mental and physical challenges of a busy meet day, she was glad to find that Saturday’s events were notably less stressful than those at last year’s UW-Oshkosh meet – and her impressive results no doubt contributed to that feeling.

Other highlights from the day were junior David Benjamin’s fourth-place finish in the triple jump with a distance of 41’3.75”, and the men’s 4×400 relay, which placed sixth. Overall, the Vikings women placed seventh in the team standings with 27 points, while the men likewise placed seventh with 12 points.

The Midwest Conference Championship, hosted by Illinois College, takes place this Friday, Feb. 24 and Saturday, Feb. 25. Runners to look out for at conference will be junior Cristyn Oliver, the defending conference champion in both the mile and 3K races, the Vikings’ strong hurdle squad and distance contingent as well as junior Greyson Schneider, who holds the current record for indoor pole vault at Lawrence.