STORY BY EMILY LAMBIE
The track team traveled to Lincoln, Nebraska to compete at Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational, the field athletes receiving the week off. The Bulldogs competed with top teams including the University of Southern California, Nebraska, Alabama, as well as Missouri Valley Conference rivals Northern Iowa. The Bulldogs left with impressive times and several personal records.
Coach Natasha Brown was pleased with the meet overall.
“It’s kind of confusing because there is excellent teams (sic),” Brown said. “So for my team to get that exposure of racing against USC that’s phenomenal because that’s the level we are aspiring to. Even though we are Division I and we’re a private school, we’re one of the smallest teams. I still want them to know what that’s like to have that Division I experience and that’s the only way to get it, is to get in the fire with them. It’s great.”
Strong runners led the Bulldogs in the 3000 meter competitions for both the men’s and women’s teams.
Sophomore Reed Fisher placed first in his heat with a time of 8:32.22, setting a new PR by 10 seconds.
“This season I was hoping to sub 8:30 or 8:25 and I still have a couple more races to do that, but it was definitely a step in the right direction,” Fisher said.
Brown was pleased with how Reed performed in his races.
“[Fisher] did a thing where he like popped his jersey, like his Drake jersey, which says something different,” Brown said. “Popping the jersey says ‘Drake just did this.’ That was really cool.”
Rob McCann finished third in his 3000 meter heat with a time of 8:18.76.
In the women’s 3000 meter Krista Maguire finished third with a time of 9:56.22, a PR for Maguire. Emma Huston also placed ninth in the special heat of the 3000.
Danyelle Cole ran a great race, missing her PR by just .04 seconds. Cole also posted a time of 22.54 seconds in the 200 meter dash.
Senior Steven Jordan came in with strong performances in the 400 meter and 200 meter dashes with times of 49.93 seconds and 22.23 seconds.
“I was trying to just execute the plan coming into it. For the (400 meter) my focus was to get out strong. I’ve been trying to really push the first lap and then set myself up for a fast race and I did that well,” Jordan said. “(I) made it to the break and my time was a PR, but it wasn’t where I wanted it to be, so I just have to focus on the second lap a little more.”
The banked track at Nebraska was different for the Bulldogs, who practice on the flat track in the upper level of the Knapp Center. This was something the runners had to get used to for the meet.
“We had some personal bests, especially in the distance events, so that was really nice to see and I’m happy for all of those guys and the sprinters. We’ll keep working and we should be ready to go for conference in a month. And then the jumpers get the week off so they should be refreshed and ready to go for Iowa State next week,” Jordan said.
The men finished in 12th place overall of 17 teams who posted scores. The women did not post a score.
Nebraska went home victorious in both the men’s and women’s divisions, followed in both by USC. Third place for the women was awarded to the hosts, Nebraska, while the bronze went to Illinois for the men.
The team’s next competition is this weekend at the Iowa State Classic in Ames on Friday and Saturday.