After almost two weeks of additional training, the Lawrence University Men’s and Women’s indoor track and field teams will be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 28 as they travel to the University of Wisconsin at Platteville. This will be a new location of competition for all current members of the team, replacing the meet at the University of Wisconsin at Stout that the team has competed at in past years.
This meet will feature some different competition for the Vikings as their first meet of the indoor season was only a dual against the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh. In addition to Lawrence, scheduled to be at the meet are Beloit College, Central College, Clarke University, Coe College, Dubuque University, Edgewood College, Marian University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Rockford University, St. Ambrose University and the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse Women’s team.
Like most of their other meets, the team’s goal is to improve. “Of course I’m excited to run. I think this track season is going to be great. I think our distance team is looking pretty strong actually compared to the shape we were in a while ago. We are all improving, recovering from injuries. We started off strong with some national rankings. Everyone is PR-ing [running personal records] and everyone looks strong” said sophomore Josh Janusiak about the upcoming meet and the current track season.
As their season builds towards the conference championships, many hope to improve on or enter into the conference rankings for their respective events. Currently, there are many Vikings listed in the top five in the conference in their event. Freshman Will Nichols is ranked second in the 200-meter dash. The dynamic distance duo of Janusiak and freshman Joe Kortenhof are first and second in the 3000-meter run. Senior Wes Hetcher is sitting at fourth in the pole vault. Freshman Noah Shea is leading the conference in the triple jump. Finally, senior Jackson Straughan is sitting fifth in the weight throw.
While the thrill of competing is one of the appeals of track and field meets for these athletes, another is the opportunity to support their teammates as they compete. Because of the diverse nature of the different events of track and field and the limited facilities at Lawrence, the team is rarely all together outside of meets. As junior Hannah Kinzer put it, “You always learn more about the sport when you watch other people run, especially since I don’t know how to sprint and so seeing sprinters do what they do best is inspiring. And seeing throwers, I can’t believe how much technique goes into it; it’s incredible. I do like that in track you get to see all the different specialties on the team. There’s a lot of work that goes into each person’s event, especially in the events that require more technique such as pole vaulting and throwing.”