Duhawks dominate at UD meet

By: Marion Edwards

DUBUQUE, IA- 5..4..3..2..1..With just a few days away, the women and men’s track and field teams prepare to countdown for one of the most exciting and nerve-wrenching indoor meets of the season: the American Rivers Conference (A-R-C) Indoor Track & Field Championship. With nerves high and energy electric, the Duhawks set out to push their hardest before the showdown on the track. On Friday, Feb. 21, the track teams competed at the Spartan Invite hosted by the University of Dubuque.

With a stunning fight to the finish, seniors Gabrielle Noland and Terrianna Black placed first and second in the 55-meter dash with times of 7.02 and 7.03. Holding the previous school record of 7.08, Noland shattered the record with a time of 7.02 with Black following at 7.03, and both women placed personal best. Noland and Black prepare to defend their standing at the upcoming ARC Championship

Setting a personal record and running the second fastest time in program history, sophomore Elayna Bahl won the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 8.33. According to Emily Adlfinger, Director of Athletic Communications, the 55-meter hurdle dash time converts to a 60-meter hurdle personal record of 8.96.

 “To prepare for my race, I visualize it and focus on the things I need to execute during it. The most important thing for me is my start to the first hurdle, so I do a few practice starts to make sure I am prepared before the race,” Bahl said. “Overall I was super happy and it makes me even more excited to run at conference.  At conference I am really hoping to better my hurdle time and get back to jumping higher in high jump.”

In the 400-meter dash, sophomore Stevie Lambe won overall with a time of 59.08 with senior Alexis Alt and sophomore Alyssa Pfadenhauer placing second and third. Pfadenhauer ran a personal record of 59.80 while Alt also ran a season best of 59.66. In the 3,000 meter run, sophomore Brianna Renner won at 11:00.23 with juniors Shania Kelly (11:37.95) and Emma Woelfel (11:44.38) following, ranking the women top three in the event.

“The 4-by-400-meter relay team of sophomores Marion Edwards, E. Osterberger, Samantha Heavlin and freshman Ciera Deitchler won the event with a time of 4:09.34,” said Adlfinger.

Senior Michelle Budden and junior Carly Fischer set personal best in the weight throws event claiming first and second. With a throw of 57’9.50″, Budden ranks second in Loras History while, with a throw of 53’5.00″, Fischer ranks seventh all time in Loras History. With a jump of 17 feet, 8.75 inches, senior Elyse Accompando won the long jump with freshman Grace Alley placing third in the triple jump at 34’11.75″.

Jumping his way to the top, as best stated by Adlfinger, junior Ryan Rogers placed second in the 55-meter hurdles with a lifetime best time of 7.72 and now ranks fourth in program history. He also added a second-place finish in the high jump, clearing 6’5′ and won the long jump with a leap of 21’8.75″.

 “Anytime I have a personal best I think about all the work that I put in to get to this point and it feels great. At conference, I believe it’s going to be really competitive which makes it unpredictable but also exciting,” Rogers said. “This is a big meet; all the athletes bring their A game. My goal is to just stay confident in my abilities to compete at a high level and help score as many points as possible for Loras, in hopes for a conference championship as the result!”

The men’s 4-by-400-meter team consisted of senior Patrick Mikel, sophomore Josh Smith, and freshmen Carter Oberfoell. Jasa broke their own record running a time of 3:16.95. Mikel also broke, not only his personal record, but the University of Dubuque’s facility and program records with a time of 21.99. This time ranks Mikel third nationally among a talented sea of competitors, including Smith, who was also under the previous facility record with a time of 22.19 ranking him ninth nationally.

“All my best performances I’ve ever done I always needed other people to help challenge me because I run my fastest when I’m scared or when I’m chasing or mad,” Mikel said. “The biggest thing is deciding not to give up before the race because then you risk not breaking PR and losing the race.”

In the 400-meter dash, seniors Tyson Morrison (51.04) and Shamari Scott (51.37) placed second and third respectively. Led by senior and first place finisher Cole Conklin-Little with a lifetime indoor personal best of 1:56.36, Oberfoell finished second with a time 1:56.39 in the 800-meter run. Adlfinger summed the results: senior Patrick Wolak won the 3,000-meter run with a time of 9:00.14 while senior Logan Hayes placed third, running a personal best time of 9:11.66. Sophomore Luke Guttormson placed third in the mile with a new personal best of 4:26.07.

Overall, the Duhawk women claimed a total of 205 points, while the men racked up a total of 134.33, conquering points and events in the Duhawk way. An outstanding representation of the Duhawks will continue week by week.

The team will be competing next at the American Rivers Conference Indoor Championship hosted by Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

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