Meet Report: Pioneer Open

This past Saturday, the Lawrence University Track and Field Team travelled to Platteville, Wis. to compete in the UW-Platteville Pioneer Open. Despite the rough training and injuries that have plagued some members of the team, there were still several notable performances around the team and improvements throughout the field.

Both of the 4×200 meter relay teams did well in competition. The Men’s team, which consisted of freshman Terrell Myers, freshman Noah Shea, sophomore Dan Sandacz and freshman Will Nichols, placed third with a time of 1:36.09, which is about three seconds away from Lawrence’s record of 1:33.78—set in 2005. The Women’s team, which consisted of freshman Mikaela Hintz, freshman Fanita Robins, freshman Hallie Sogin and junior Janey Degnan, placed second with a time of 1:57.35. Shea also placed second in the triple jump with a mark of 42 feet, 7.5 inches. Nichols placed eighth in the same event with a distance of 39 feet, 11.25 inches. Wes Hetcher, senior, placed seventh in the pole vault at a height of 11 feet, 8 inches. Myers placed eighth in long jump with a mark of 19 feet, 5.5 inches. The team has been suffering from several sicknesses and injuries, but have slowly been working hard to recover and perform their best.

“The mindset of the meet was really to just show off the work we’ve put in since the meet at Oshkosh. [We wanted to] have fun while working hard since we had a lot of healthy competition to contend with,” said Sandacz. Along with this mindset, many of the athletes are discovering that they are in better shape than at the beginning of the season. Everyone is continuously looking forward as the season goes on.

Sophomore Josh Janusiak, placed first in the 5000 meter run with a time of 15:34.23, which was about 17 seconds faster than the next finisher. “My goal,” Janusiak said, “was to try to break 15:20, which didn’t quite happen, but I went into the race pretty confident. Since it is only the beginning of the season and my first 5000 in a while, I think it was satisfactory for me.” Ben Schaefer, sophomore, placed tenth in the 5000 with a time of 16:34.81. Hannah Kinzer placed second in the 5000 for the women’s side with a time of 19:32.02. “Kinzer had a great race and she looked confident the whole time,” Janusiak stated. “She kept up the difficult pace even near the end of the race.”

Coaching has been a main mood booster for the athletes. This indoor season, the team has acquired a new hurdler coach, Nathan Harder, who has been working with the hurdlers on their speed and form to perfect the race. Harder joins a dedicated group of coaches. Exemplifying this dedication, Coach Jason Fast shoveled out a 200-meter track on the surface of the Banta Bowl so the runners had the opportunity to work on a softer surface pavement and a better surface than the short wellness center indoor track.

The Vikings will travel to UW-Stevens Point on Feb. 4 for their next competition.