Track seniors reflect on final season

This past weekend, the Lawrence Track and Field team traveled to Grinnell College in Iowa for the Midwest Conference Championships. Two of the team’s senior members, Amanda Endicott and Aasma Haider, reflected on the final season of their collegiate careers. 

The season was atypical from the start, as the team had to travel to Appleton West High School to use their track during the outdoor season, since Lawrence’s has been under construction. As thanks to Appleton West for using their facilities, members of the Track team volunteered to help run a recent high school track meet after the college season came to an end. 

“This season was a mix of early morning practices, […] an extended winter and events being rescheduled,” said Endicott. “[But] even amongst this whirlwind of events, so many people had personal bests, broke school records and were awarded all-conference honors.” 

At the outdoor Conference Championships, three of her teammates earned all-conference honors, with sophomore Riley Winebrenner placing second in Women’s Steeplechase, first-year Jaydon Watson placing second in Men’s Javelin and junior Ian Thomas taking first in Men’s Javelin for the second time. Thomas won his event with a throw of 171 feet, winning by a margin of nearly nine feet. 

Both Endicott and Haider, who are also members of the LU Cross Country team, expressed gratitude for their teammates and satisfaction with the end of their season. 

“I ended on a high note with my 400-meter race, surrounded by hugs and congratulations from my teammates,” Endicott said. 

Endicott finished 17th in the Women’s 400-meter dash, a race that was also run by her Lawrence teammate Itzel Vega Juarez, a first-year.  

Haider, meanwhile, participated in both the Women’s 5k Meter Run and Women’s 10k Meter Run, placing 10th and 7th in those races, respectively. 

Speaking about her 10k race, Haider described it as “an emotional rollercoaster, as always. I felt myself hurting and slowing down in the first half, but pushed myself like no other in the second half. My only thought was that it is my last race, and I just have to make those risky moves and hope my body can carry me through.” 

She recalled feeling relief as she laid on the ground after completing the race, having broken her personal record in the last 10k of her college career. 

“I was just silently cheering for myself,” Haider said. 

The Conference Championships ended with Lawrence in seventh place out of the nine participating schools, with the team having earned 36 points. 

As Haider put it, “This sport is tough, and it challenges you in ways you can never imagine. But the growth you can see in a person, and how they deal with adversity, is what makes this sport so beautiful.” 

Endicott expressed a similar sentiment: “I truly believe that this season attests to everyone’s character and capabilities […] and I’m so thankful to have competed with such talented individuals over my four years here!” 

Though the season is technically over, there is an optional “last chance” final qualifier meet on Thursday, May 18 at University of Wisconsin–La Crosse. Both Winebrenner and Thomas will be participating.