The MWC Championships proved to be tough for Lawrence University men’s and women’s outdoor track teams, with the men coming in 9th place and the women finishing in 8th. Sophomore Sam Stevens noted that the team had been competing strongly since January, and as a result some team members had gotten “a bit banged up.”
“Sadly, this really affected us this weekend and dropped us out of points in a few events that we were supposed to get points in,” said Stevens. Despite this, Head Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Coach and Head Men’s and Women’s Track Coach Jason Fast was quite pleased with the performance of the underclassmen team members, saying that the both teams were “lifted up by our underclassmen.”
Fast went on to note all the points on the women’s side were scored by either freshman or sophomores. For instance, freshman Erica Schmidt placed 2nd in the discus after three throws that were better than her previous best this season. “It was great to see her accomplish this as a freshman, because not many freshman are able to finish top three in an event at conference, so it really is something special,” said Fast of Schmidt’s performance.
Also on the women’s side, sophomore Rose Tepper finished 6th place in the High Jump, and the 4×1 and 4×4 relays — which were comprised entirely of freshman and sophomores — both came in 8th.
On the men’s side, Fast commented that senior Stevens “played a part in all of our points for the men.” Stevens, who finished all three of his individual events with seasons’ best times, came in 3rd in the 1500 (4:04), 2nd in the Steeplechase (9:35) and 7th in the 800 (1:57). Stevens was also named to the All-Conference Team in the 1500 and Steeplechase.
“Personally, I am very happy with my performance at the championships,” said Stevens. “After failing to be on the podium at last year’s meet, I was able to reach the podium in both the 1500 and Steeplechase, so that was very rewarding.”
Also on the men’s side, the 1600m relay team, which consisted of Tyler Mazur, Stevens, Dan Thoresen and Jesse Peterson, ran for a season best time of 3:34, finishing in 8th place.
Although the teams didn’t finish quite as well as hoped, Fast is optimistic about the future of both teams. “We have a lot of young talent and both teams will be moving up in the conference in the very near future,” said Fast. “We are raising the expectations for the team every year, and next year will be no different.”