The Lawrence University outdoor track and field team is attempting to turn heads in the Midwest Conference this season. Though the Vikings got off to a slow start last week at the Emory University Invitational, both the men’s and women’s teams are looking ahead to the conference season. LU track coach Matt Kehrein hopes that the success of his indoor teams carries over to the outdoor season. “I think our success will continue; we have many team members who are very competitive.” Kehrein’s team features many members of the indoor teams, as well as many members of the cross country teams. The women’s cross country team won the conference championship last fall. “It s good to have successful runners on the team along with our many freshman.” Kehrein says.Both the men and the women have a previous conference champion competing for the Vikings. On the men’s side, it is senior Don Smith, who won last years 800-meter run at the conference meet. For the women, it is junior Val Curtis who won the 5000-meter run at the conference meet.
As for this year, Kehrein is optimistic about his teams. “I expect the team to have a breakout year; we may not have any individuals who stand out, but we will have a solid team.”
The men’s strengths are their middle distance runners. The throwers on the team also will aid the men in the conference. For the women, the middle distance is also the strength of the squad.
Unfortunately, both teams with have to deal with a lack of depth. Coach Kehrein is still very optimistic about his team’s chances in the Midwest Conference. “Our goal for the season is for both teams to finish in the top three in the conference, and for all our individual times to continue to drop.”
The Vikings will compete away from home most of the season, but if you want to see the Vikings in action, they will be hosting the Wisconsin Private College Championships on April 27.