Track & field finishes season with individual focus

The Lawrence University Track and Field teams finished their season on Friday, May 15, at the Last Chance meet at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. This meet served as a sort of final punctuation to the season because it was unique in the fact that it completely focused on individual performers; no team scores were tallied.

Traditionally, the Last Chance meet is a final opportunity for competitors to achieve a qualifying time or mark for the NCAA Division III National Championship meet. Lawrence usually does not compete as a team at this meet, but sends individuals who are close to qualifying or those who want to compete one more time after the conference meet.

This year, however, was an exception. Because of Lawrence’s trimester system, the Vikings had only competed in five of the six minimum meets necessary to complete an outdoor season. Lawrence had to compete as a team in order to achieve this minimum.

With the pressures of the Midwest Conference Championships and the season behind them, Viking athletes saw Last Chance as a low-stakes meet to try new events or improve upon their old ones. “We all competed for the sake of competing, rather than for specific times,” says junior Cam Davies. “The point was to go out, run fast and remember why running is fun.”

Top finishers for the Vikings included senior Anna Bolgrien, who competed for the first time in the 3000-meter steeplechase. Bolgrien took fifth with a time of 14:01. Senior Kassidy Rinehart also placed in the top ten in the javelin throw with a toss of 31.63 meters to take ninth place.

Also competing on the men’s side of the javelin was sophomore Wes Hetcher who threw 34.63 meters to also take ninth. Junior Jordan Atkins finished 11th in a 10:28 steeplechase race and sophomore Max Edwards took 13th in the 5K with a time of 15:57.

As the days move towards summer, the young Vikings team looks forward to some much needed rest and recovery. Look for the Vikings to make a statement in the fall with Cross Country. Their next season will include the addition of new freshmen and more experience competing for all other members of the team.