Freshman Karlsson leads track squad at UW-Stout

Competing in one of the largest meets of the indoor season on Saturday, Feb. 1, the Lawrence University track and field team was able to make its mark. The competition showcased some of the other teams in the region outside of the Midwest Athletic Conference.

At UW-Stout’s Johnson Fieldhouse, the Vikings were able to see some new faces. “We had been competing in the same meets year to year,” noted head coach Jason Fast. “It was time for a change of pace.”

Several Lawrentian performances stood out during the day, including a second through fifth place rout of the 5000-meter run. Freshman Elin Karlsson led a group of Vikings with her time of 19:44. Sophomores Clare Bruning and Liz Landes followed right behind with times of 19:57 and 19:58, respectively. Senior Anna Ratliff took fifth, crossing the line in 20:09.

“They raced well, especially considering the practice conditions [of the previous two weeks],” said Fast. The practice conditions have been a concern this year due to the blisteringly cold weather and preponderance of snow.

Still, the Vikings have some things that are going quite well for them despite the cold. With his time of 8.74 in the 60-meter hurdles, sophomore JP Ranumas moved into second place in the conference thus far.

Additionally, senior Jamie Brisbois currently owns the fastest time (16:14) in the conference in the 5000-meter run. Teammate Cam Davies has the second fastest time. The sophomore finished right behind Brisbois in 16:15.

As the team looks forward to the indoor conference meet this year, Coach Fast wants to work on preparation: “We need to start preparing for every meet as we would for a championship—that means having a plan, both individually and for the team, and being consistent in pre-race, pre-jump and pre-throw rituals.” He emphasizes that the team could really benefit from that focus.

The team will see about half of its conference competition in the meets preceding the Midwest Championship meet on Friday, Feb. 28 and Saturday, March 1 at Cornell College. “Teams from the southern part of the conference rarely travel this far north,” noted Fast. “We will have the challenge of not competing against them until conference to think about in the upcoming weeks.”

The Vikings travel to UW-Stevens Point on Saturday, Feb. 8 for the Stevens Point Open.