Juniors Kaelene Lundstrom and Diana Scott along with Senior Tyler Geyen competed last weekend at the NCAA National Indoor Competition
The Gustavus Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track teams finished their respective seasons with successful individual showings at the MIAC Championships, which translated to success in their overall finishes for the season.
The women’s team finished second in the conference due to a strong showing by Junior Kaelene Lundstrum that earned her the title of Outstanding Women’s Field Athlete of the meet, while Senior Tyler Geyen led the men to an eighth place finish at the meet.
“Everyone worked really hard this season, and our teams did really well,” said Lundstrum, who won the conference title in the pentathlon and later finished fifth in the event at Nationals. “We were really strong in the field events, and our runners did well, too.”
Geyen won the 55-meter hurdles at the Conference Meet, and later put on an All-American-worthy performance at the National Meet with a fourth place finish in the event.
“I definitely pushed myself harder this season and was really thankful for the opportunity to run at Nationals,” said Geyen, who broke a 23-year-old Conference meet record in the process of winning his title. “Racing in the finals at Nationals was surreal. I ran a perfect race and didn’t hit a single hurdle.”
Lundstrum broke her own school and conference record in the pentathlon at the Conference meet by winning each individual event of the pentathlon. Lundstrum also tied the meet record in the high jump. Her success was achieved despite missing a month of training while studying abroad in South Africa and Namibia.
“I was not sure what to expect, being gone for [January Interim Experience] and missing half of the season,” said Lundstrum. “I knew that my season could be pretty good, and I made sure to be more disciplined [in my training] so that I could stay on track for where I wanted to be.”
Other highlights from the Conference meet included a Gustie sweep of the podium in the women’s shotput event by Senior Lisa Brown, Lundstrum and Sophomore Sam Broderius. Junior Diana Scott qualified for Nationals with her team record performance in the weight throw event, and Sophomore Janey Helland placed second in the long jump. Junior Kelly Nelson took home third place in the pole vault and Senior Laura Lynch leaped to a third place finish in the triple jump. Sophomore Megan Lundgren scored in five events.
On the men’s side, both the 4×200 relay consisting of Geyen, Junior Cole Carlson, Sophomore Matt Leeb and Freshman Matt Dvorak and the 4×400 relay of Carlson, Geyen, Sophomore Colby Citrowske and Leeb set new school records en route to all-conference honors. Also garnering all-conference honors was Junior Max Hanson with a third place finish in the 600-yard dash. Junior Brian Anderson put up a solid fourth place effort in the shotput.
“This was really an enjoyable team to coach, and we had great leadership by our senior captains [Elizabeth] Pringle and Geyen,” said Head Coach Tom Thorkelson. “The team had a solid work effort and was really fun to be around.”
Geyen credited the solid performances of both teams this season to the sheer number of key contributors on both squads.
“Team depth is essential to the success of the team,” said Geyen. “Good individual performances help, but team performances are the ones that help most.”
Coach Thorkelson said that the determination of his athletes really shined in the workouts.
“The workouts this year were the same, maybe a little harder, but these teams did them at a much higher intensity than in previous years,” said Thorkelson. “That’s what really makes the difference; these teams did all of their workouts with 100 percent intensity.”
Geyen pointed to the Barbados training trip that the team took over touring break as a big reason for the team’s camaraderie.
“This was the best team chemistry that we’ve had in my four seasons here,” said Geyen. “Everyone on our team realized early on that they’re not running for themselves; they’re running for everyone [on the team].”
Lundstrum was content with the showings of both teams from the indoor track season and has high hopes for the upcoming outdoor track season.
“We’re looking to keep improving as a team; we improved a lot this year [during the indoor season],” said Lundstrum. “Hopefully we can step it up and compete with St. Thomas in the outdoor season.”