It’s all about conference. The Lawrence Track and Field team pushed themselves this weekend against extremely talented runners to get the best seed times possible for the most important meet of the year in two weeks. While three individuals competed at the Gina Relays in Hillsdale, Mich., the rest of the team competed closer to home at the UW Whitewater Drake Alternative.
Senior Cam Davies, sophomore Max Edwards and freshman Erin Schrobilgen made the trip out to Hillsdale to surround themselves with strong racers from across the nation who would push them to their best time possible. “These types of races don’t turn out to be tactical because everybody wants to run fast,” says Edwards. “It’s not about winning the race, it’s about running the best time you can.”
The stiff competition certainly pushed these Vikings into running great times. Edwards’s 5K time of 15:36 was his best of the year and will put him in a high seed for the conference meet. Schrobilgen also ran the 5K with a time of 19:16. Rounding out the last of the Viking Hillsdale competitors was Davies in the steeplechase. With a time of 9:38, Davies currently holds the number one seed in the Midwest Conference (MWC) and was honored as MWC Performer of the Week.
Down in Whitewater, the rest of the team also competed with the conference meet seedings in mind. Junior Clare Bruning had the best finish of the day with a second place 18:53 time in the 5K. Freshman Margaret Huck was close behind in fourth place in a time of 19:31. Sophomore Kate Kilgus, running the 800-meter dash, took third place in 2:27.
The men’s side was highlighted by freshman Ethan Gniot’s fourth place 1:59 performance in the 800-meter. The men’s 4×400- meter relay rounded off the meet with a first place finish with a time of 3:40.
Moving ahead, the Vikings will continue to train for the culmination of their season: the MWC Championships. As we approach the tail end of the season, the athletes are scaling back in the volume of their training and focusing more on short, intense workouts. “At this point, our fitness is almost where it’s going to be,” says Edwards. “It’s about sharpening and getting our legs ready to move fast.”
This Saturday, the Vikings will compete in their last regular meet of the season at home at Whiting Field. Field events will begin at 10 a.m. and running events at 11 a.m. This will be the Vikings’ only home meet of the year.