Gusties burn up the track

Parker BurmanStaff Writer

This past weekend the Gustavus Track and Field team made the trek up to Collegeville, Minnesota to face off in the Saint John’s Invitational. After competing the day before at the Mankato Massive Meet at Mankato State University, the Gusties had to use all their remaining strength for another day of competition. 

“I came into the meet feeling pretty good and ready to compete. For our athletes that did compete the day before, you could tell that they were still ready to do their best and they didn’t carry any possible feeling of tiredness or soreness into the competition with them,” said Junior Madi Kes.

With lots of energy and hard work, the Gustavus men and women both took second place solidifying a solid weekend for the program. In 18 total events for both the men and women, the men compiled a total of 109 points while the women were able to amass an impressive 142 points to secure second.

On the men’s side, the Gusties secured four event wins on the day while placing high in several others throughout the competition. Sophomore Tyler Smith won the 600-meter with an impressive time of 1:23.47 with teammate Sophomore Markus Rupnow right on his heels. Senior Tucker Wallin won the 1000-meter with a strong time of 2:35.63.

In the longer distances and relays the Gustavus men continued to perform well. Gusties finished first and second in the 3000-meter with a pair of Seniors Jake Wielgos and Trevor LaVigne coming in at 9:04.03 and 9:12.54, respectively. The 4×200-meter relay team also won their event with a season-best time of 1:31.20. Seniors Wyatt Quiring, Seth Zeitchick, Junior Mathew Skelly, and Sophomore Nathan Le all put the Gusties in a great place to win throughout the race.

“It felt great setting a season-best time. We shaved about 2 seconds off of our original time earlier this season. Just building more chemistry with each other and executing better exchanges was the key to helping us shave off a decent chunk of time,” said Le.

For men’s field, Senior Josh Beiswanger finished second in the weight throw with a personal best distance of 54-10.25. His throw is the longest throw in the event in the MIAC this season. “My goal is to try and win every competition I enter or perform the best I can at that time in a training program,” said Beiswanger.

The Gustavus women finished the day with six event victories, which overall helped contribute to their 142-point total. Their performance was highlighted by another record-setting weekend by Senior Birgen Nelson. Nelson broke Laura Carlson’s 400-meter record with a time of 58.18 beating the original school record of 58.39.

“When I break a school record I’m reminded that all my hard work is paying off. My coaches believe in me and work so hard to help me achieve my goals. It’s a great moment for us each time I break one and I’m so happy to make them proud when I do,” said Nelson.

Not to be outdone, Sophomore Kate Carlson won her 60-meter race with a personal best time of 7.82. Her time now places her third in program history with time to still break the record.

“It was so exciting to win the 60 meter dash and all my teammates came to cheer with me which made it so much better. I was psyched when I saw my time and that I finally broke 8 seconds,” said Carlson.

Personal bests kept coming for the Gusties as Junior Danielle Miller won the 60-meter hurdles with a personal best time of 9.30. In the field Junior Ally Rakow won the high jump with a new personal best, clearing the bar with a 5-2.25 jump. Senior Annika Poe won the shot put with a huck of 46-1.25 to secure the event win once again. Lastly, Kes won in the triple jump with a leap of 37-7.25.

“It definitely means a lot to be able to accomplish that. It feels good to know that my hard work has been paying off and it makes me excited coming into our championship season knowing that I am jumping as good as I can be,” said Kes.

Starting next week the Gusties will compete at the MIAC Indoor Championship in St. Paul, Minnesota from Feb 23-25. Over three days of competition, Gustavus will look to continue their strong season.

“I think this team can accomplish so much. Not only do we have the talent, but these girls are so incredibly hard-working. I am excited for this season, but I also know with these people the team will be successful for seasons to come,” said Nelson.

“So many of our athletes had a great meet and there were a lot of personal bests. Everyone competed so hard and we have some great momentum heading into MIAC Indoor Championships,” said Carlson.

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