Gusties break records in bad weather

Emma EstebStaff Writer

The Gustavus men’s and women’s track and field teams faced the cold at the Bethel Invitational where the Gusties broke one school record and had six individual event winners. This was the team’s first outdoor meet in Minnesota and unfortunately, the weather was not on their side. Nonetheless, the weather could not dampen the Gusties’ ability to break school records. The women’s 4×100 relay of Junior Dani Miller, Senior Birgen Nelson, Sophomore Megan Geraets, and Sophomore Kate Carlson set the school record with a time of 48.02. Gustie event winners included Senior Wyatt Quiring in the 400 meter with a time of 50.25, Nelson in the 400-hurdles with a time of 1:03.21, Senior Annika Poe in the discus with a throw of 126-02 and the shot put at 44-9.5, Senior Josh Beiswanger in the hammer throw at 183-07, and Sophomore Danny Bies in the high jump with a clearance of 6-4. 

“I was dealing with a knee injury during warm-ups for the high jump and I really didn’t let that stop me. I was still determined to jump the best I could even though my body wasn’t feeling the best. I think how dedicated I was to making the jump and looking at my competition and saying, I know I can out jump these guys really set me up for success,” Bies said. 

This was the first meet where the whole team was together and able to compete outside. 

“Our team had a really good time despite the weather being sucky. We took it with everything that we had and it unified us as a team where we all cheered and supported each other and got through the meet. Even though times weren’t where we wanted them to be, everyone’s forms and competitive spirits were really good, so once we get some nicer weather times are gonna drop and we are gonna have a really great season,” Junior Grant Baker said. He posted a 56.27 in the 400-meter and a 25.71 in the 200-meter. 

The women had a number of top-five finishes across multiple events. Sophomore Kelly Brennan placed fourth in the hammer throw with a distance of 141-2. Junior Ally Rakow took fourth in the high jump with a height of 4-11. 

“I like to go in with an open mindset and just be confident in myself. I know that we have put in the time and effort into practices in order to be prepared for this,” Rakow said.

 Junior Madi Kes finished second in the triple jump with a distance of 36-1.25 and took fourth in the long jump with a distance of 16-3.75. Miller took second in the 100-hurdles with a time of 15.95 while Nelson was the fastest in the 100-hurdles of the prelims with a time of 14.15. Carlson was runner-up in the 100-meter at 12.56 and got third in the 200-meter with a time of 26.51. For the long-distance runners, Junior Evelyn Villalobos took home fourth place with a time of 18:18.64 in the 5000-meter race. 

The men also had quite a few top-ten finishes across the board. Senior Seth Zeitchick finished fourth in the 400-meter at 51.43 with Junior Agro Gushwa finishing right after with a time of 52.31. Senior Trevor Lavigne placed fifth in the 3000-meter steeplechase. Junior Matthew Skelly placed fourth in the 100-meter, running 11.36. For distance, Henry Hinchcliffe led the Gusties in the 5,000 meter where he took sixth place with a time of 15:39.02.

The team is looking forward to the warm weather and being able to host this weekend. “I hope it gets warm out again for our meets. I’m really looking forward to the Conference meet where we can hopefully defend our title for the women’s team,” Rakow said. The team also will be competing at the University of Minnesota for the M City Classic on Wednesday and then on Thursday at the UW-La Crosse Phil Esten Challenge before hosting the Lee Krough Invitational this weekend. 

This dynamic group of individuals is not like any other team on campus and they are looking forward to showcasing their talents as they continue their outdoor season. 

“The variety of people we have makes this team different from other teams. The personalities that we have on the team really make us unique. We are a really hard-working group of people and have the most amazing coaches that really push us to become the best we can be while also being respectful of us,” Bies said. 

Their season has just begun and the sunshine is hopefully coming their way as they persevere through the rest of the season.