Cross country improves at Pointer Invitational

Alex York

A large meet can be a whole different beast. With more competition, initial results can be disheartening, but upon closer examination, one can find some pretty exciting news. This was exactly what happened to the Lawrence indoor track and field team at the Pointer Invite in Stevens Point last Saturday, Feb. 4.

“Bigger meets are usually better competition, which gives us the opportunity to run faster times,” remarked Head Coach Jason Fast. “The only drawback to that is sometimes you can get lost in the shuffle of a big race.” However, the Vikings went into the meet with the right attitude. “Our athletes do a good job of focusing more on their own personal improvement and the goals that they have set out for themselves,” continued Fast.

Notable finishers on the men’s side were junior standout Sam Stevens and freshman Kyle Dockery in the 5000m run. They finished second and fourth respectively with times of 15:24 and 15:29. Taking a closer look at these times, one will notice that this puts Stevens and Dockery first and second in the Midwest Athletic Conference. After running his first 5k, Stevens was quite pleased with the result: “It’s cool to see how well my training for one event affects my performance in another event.”

The Vikings also had a host of runners in the mile who are on the brink of jumping up in the conference standings. Freshman Pat Mangan, sophomore Mike Mangian, and sophomore Dan Thoresen ran 4:34, 4:37, and 4:42 respectively.

On the women’s side, senior Emily Muhs ran to sixth place in the 3000m run with her time of 11:00. This time elevates her to 5th in the conference standings. Also notable was freshman Anna Bolgrien’s time of 1:04 in the open 400m dash. With that time, she also holds the 5th fastest time yet to be run this year by an athlete from Lawrence’s conference. Senior Rose Tepper had an impressive jump of four feet nine and a half inches but was just shy of scoring points for the Vikings.

The Vikings have another two-week hiatus from racing but intend to be very busy building up their forces for the UW-Stevens Point Eastbay Invitational on Feb. 18 and eventually the Midwest Athletic Conference Championships the following weekend on Feb. 24 and 25.

“We are competing very well right now and we are in great shape,” noted Fast. “The only thing that can slow us down right now is ourselves.”