Track teams welcome alums during their transition outdoors

With the indoor season coming to a close, the track and field team is now looking forward to the outdoor season and running on a full 400-meter track.

To start things off, the team participated in its first outdoor “meet” of the season. The Duhawks’ competition? Former Loras athletes who ran and graduated before them: the alumni.

The annual alumni meet took place last Saturday, March 18. It was an afternoon filled with reminiscing, friendly competition, and a whole lot of shenanigans as the Loras track and field team was pitted against their athletic predecessors.

To make things a little more fun, the current Loras student-athletes were split into two groups: the purple team and the gold team. Trash talking invariably happens in the days leading up to the meet, and this year was no exception. The gold and purple teams defended their honor against one another, and attempted to prove it on Saturday. One memorable part of this annual meet is the costumes that show up. As proud members of their teams, many Duhawks like to show off their team spirit.

Matt Jones, the head track and field coach as well as a Loras alum, noted this special team camaraderie.

“The Alumni meet is a great way to kick off our outdoor season,” he said. “It’s a light, fun event. The student-athletes come sporting their respective colors, and we’ve even seen some pretty interesting costumes before as well.”

Emily Day, a senior on the track team who will become one of these alumni in May, agreed with Jones about the unique nature of the meet.

“I’d say that it’s always nice to see alumni come back for the weekend. It’s really special to be sharing an event that allows them to celebrate their time as Duhawks while also showing them what our experience is like now at Loras.”

As for the future of the alumni meet, it is something that current Loras track and field athletes can look forward to after they graduate.

“The past several years we’ve seen a much greater number of alums coming back to partake in the event, which is always an encouraging thing to see,” Jones said. “This is a great way to get the past to interact with the present. My hope is that this number only continues to grow and we come up with new ways to make the event more fun.”

The track and field alumni meet is a special day for both past and present Duhawks. It was a great way to kick off the outdoor season and have a little fun at the same time. The team will begin real competition next weekend at the Augustana Early Spring Opener in Rock Island, IL.

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