This past Saturday, March 23 marked the final weekend in which the transition from indoor to outdoor season took place for Loras Track & Field. These past couple of weeks have been utilized by the athletes for recharging their batteries and getting healthy for the first meet of the outdoor season, which will take place this upcoming Saturday, March 30 at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL. Although indoor season saw multiple record-breaking performances, many Duhawks are eager to get some fresh air and showcase their talents outside.
Following individual Indoor National Championships from both juniors Gabrielle Noland and Patrick Mikel, they will most likely be keeping their expectations high and aim towards outdoor Nationals in Geneva, OH. For Mikel, he will be looking to take the National Championship crown in the 400-meter dash after getting edged by Mount Union’s A.J. Digby just a season ago. Mikel was also a part of the men’s 4×4 team that qualified for Outdoor Nationals last year, along with names like junior Tyson Morrison and senior Anakin Hall. Looking back on the success of the 2019 4×4 indoor team comprised of Mikel, Morrison, as well as newcomer first-years Josh Smith and Mike Jasa, this third place squad will have no shortage of talent when it comes to returning to the national stage.
Focusing on field events, look for senior Bella Solis to make an impact as she approaches the home stretch of her collegiate career. A season ago at outdoor conference, Solis placed in the top five for multiple events, including the 100 & 400-meter dash, high jump, and as a member of both the 4×1 and 4×4 relay teams. She also placed fifth in the nation in the 400-meter dash, earning her All-American status. Another all-around athlete to keep an eye on this outdoor season is sophomore Ryan Rogers. He is coming off a fourth place finish in the heptathlon at the 2019 Indoor National Championships, a mark which he would like to build on this second half of the season.
Overall, the Loras Track & Field team will have no expectations short of winning team titles and qualifying multiple athletes for both outdoor conference & nationals. Multiple athletes who just missed the top-20 mark indoors will be looking to prove that they deserve to be recognized as the season progresses. Others will look to only build on the experience and success that they have had in the past.