On the outside, track and field may appear to be an individual sport, but for both the men’s and women’s teams, they have collaborated individual strengths to form an energetic and powerful team. Head Coach Dale Bahr said he is impressed with how the team and coaching staff has dealt with the unpredictable weather.
“It makes training a bit more difficult and as you can imagine, it is also not good for producing great times and marks, but it is what it is and when the weather does turn nice, we will definitely be ready to perform,” Bahr said.
Both the staff and the entire team have been working hard to make the best of the weather conditions.
“We have some very dedicated athletes who put in a lot of time to become their best and my coaching staff also puts in countless hours to ensure the athletes are doing what it takes to be their best,” Bahr said.
After Grant Rorem passed away this January, Senior Anna McDevitt remembered how inspirational he was.
“Grant and I were hurdlers together, and he is one of the reasons I was able to stay positive and committed to track despite my injuries over the last three years. He helped coach me in the hurdles and despite the fact that he hadn’t planned to compete this year, he had planned to be around at practices to hang out and help coach,” McDevitt said.
In honor of his life, the team has chosen to replace the laces on their racing spikes with yellow shoelaces.
“We’re thinking about him at each and every meet,” McDevitt said.
While the team mourned the loss of Rorem, they also came together to race for him and it has proven to be successful for both the men and women.
On the men’s side, Cameron Clause has established himself as one of the top in the conference in the Decathlon, achieving first in pole vault, third in long jump, and third in the 110 hurdles. He is also sitting at number eight in all of Division III in the decathlon and 20th in the nation in pole vault. Other notable accomplishments from the men include Matt Flotterud in 9th place in the 110 hurdles in the conference, and Blair Riegel standing strong with the second best mark in the triple jump.
For the women, McDevitt is currently third in the triple jump and Elizabeth Weiers sits at the top of the conference in the hammer throw. Sarah Swanson is occupying the fourth place spot in the shot put, thirteenth in the discus and ninth in the hammer throw.
“Marit Sonnesyn is showing great range with solid performances in the 1,500-meter run all the way up to 10K, where she currently has the fourth fastest time,” Bahr said.
Bahr noted that the whole team has had a great season so far, not just these individuals.
“Of course, it is always a good feeling to walk away with some individual champions, but the emphasis is always ‘team first,’” Bahr said.
“I think that the biggest team accomplishment is just being able to stay positive throughout this season. There are so many times when I get frustrated with my throws, but the team is always right there to help and support me,” Junior Elizabeth Weiers said.
McDevitt says this season has been extremely rewarding. With the proper preparation we’ve put in, we’re seeing the results we want to be seeing at this point in the season. Everyone has put in the work and many have qualified for Conference Championships, which we will be competing in this Friday and Saturday,” McDevitt said.
With the end of the season in sight, the team hopes to be among the top three teams in the conference this year, with goals of being just as successful next year.
“Like every year, we will need to see the younger athletes step up and develop so they can score the points that our seniors have the year before and hopefully more. It is also important to bring in more talent through recruiting,” Bahr said.
Both the men and women have high hopes for the MIAC Championship Meet which will be held Friday, May 9 and Saturday, May 10 at St.Olaf College in Northfield.
“We have all worked hard to be in this competition, and there is no reason not to give it our all,” Weiers said.