Duhawk track races to finish conference season

On Saturday, the Duhawks traveled across town to the home of the University of Dubuque Spartans. This was the last chance to for the Duhawks to compete for a spot at the Drake Relays before the Iowa Conference meet.

Among some of the strong performances were first-year Kemunto Ondande, sophomore Kylian Lally, and seniors Zach Frey and Keontae Neely.

Lally took first in the 800-meter run with the quick time of 1:53.62.

“I was extremely nervous going into the race,” Lally said, “but once the gun went off, I just became focused on keeping up with Frey.”

Frey was used as a rabbit for his teammates before dropping out of the race.

“Frey really helped out in that race. Him setting the pace made it easier for me to just focus on keeping up with him. When he stopped on the curve and started yelling, I believe that gave me the extra push I needed,” said Lally.

Despite this promising finish, Lally still knows he has work to do.

“My biggest motivator this season is to just get faster so I can be where I want to be. I want to make it to nationals, but obviously I have to focus on getting faster to make that happen.”

Thankfully, he has help from his teammates.

“All of the support from the team makes it so much easier to push harder during the races and practices. I am just really excited to see where our team ends up. I feel a lot of us have been having a very successful seasons, and I am really excited to see where everyone ends up as the season starts coming to an end,” said Lally.

Lally’s performance wasn’t the only impressive one in the 800. Ondande won the 800 meter run with the time of 2:20.22. This was her first 800 since the Indoor Conference meet, and she shaved four seconds off her time.

In order to prepare for her race, Ondande explained her method.

“I took some time to myself to visualize my race. I made sure that I had some positivity in myself.”

She lead the whole field for the two laps.

“After my race, I was in shock. It was great competition for me.”

With the successes of her season so far, she’s excited for the upcoming weeks.

“My biggest motivator for this season is to take everything that you have been given from the training that we do at the practice to the moment where we are ready for competition. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, but it will take time to reach where we intend to be,” said Ondande.

Neely had strong finishes in his three field events, placing in the top four in each, winning the long jump.

“I think that my performances were good for where we are at in the season. My marks have been slowly climbing higher as we get closer to conference,” Neely said.

For him, the team and his coaches help him out the most.

“My biggest motivator this season has been my teammates and coach. They call me out when I’m not doing what I’m supposed to.”

Neely is also excited about what the jumpers have to do this season.

“I am looking forward to seeing how well the younger jumpers on the team finish the season. I would like them to be in a place where they are able to help each other out next season after all the seniors are gone.”

The Duhawks take some of their flock to the Drake Relays this weekend while the rest will be competing at Simpson College on Friday.

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