This past Friday & Saturday, Feb. 22 and 23, Loras Track & Field hit the road to Waverly, Iowa, where they competed in the American Rivers Conference Championships. With Nationals only a couple of weeks away, Duhawk stars such as junior Gabby Noland and junior Patrick Mikel were looking to pad their performances, while others, such as first-year Stevie Lambe and sophomore Kassie Rosenbum, looked to climb the leaderboards into the National Top-20 and secure their ticket to Boston.
Beginning on Friday, Women’s long jump saw three out of the top five finishes by Loras athletes, as junior Elyse Acompanado, junior Terrianna Black, and senior Taylor Schaefers all eclipsed the mark of 5.20 meters. Acompanado, who had finished first in the long jump at her prior two meets, just missed the first place mark by 3 meters, finishing with a jump of 5.33 meters. Distance was not only relevant in jumping, but also during the women’s 5K, as front runner Rosenbum took second with a time of 17:28.87, just missing the first place mark by about two seconds. However, with her finishing time, Rosenbum moves into second all-time in the school’s record books.
Day two of competition saw the stars show out in the sprinting and mid-distance events, as names such as first-year Elayna Bahl, first-year Elijah Thomas, and sophomore Ryan Rodgers helped rack up gigantic points for the Duhawks. Starting with the men’s 60-meter dash, Thomas was crowned champion with a time of 6.95 seconds.
“I knew I had to run a little faster coming into the race…and I did just that.” Thomas said following the victory. Along with Thomas’ performance, Rodgers took first in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.32 seconds, while on the women’s side, Bahl got edged by one-tenth of a second, falling second to Wartburg’s Maggi Bjustrom. The men’s 400-meter dash saw two Duhawk competitors, Mikel and junior Tyson Morrison, going head to head in the standings. After both won their respected heats, it was Mikel who got the upper hand of the two, finishing with a time of 47.93. This time mark not only rallied Mikel to the first place victory, but also set a new facilities record.
Overall, women placed third while men took home second place. With only two weeks to go before Nationals, the Duhawks will split this Saturday, Mar. 2, with some of the team traveling back to Waverly, while others will re-visit Platteville, WI.