COLUMN BY BAILEE COFER
Setting out to break a record is the ultimate endeavor. It is the sum of immeasurable effort and determination that culminates in a fleeting victory.
As athletes gaze upon their names standing by some personally paramount number, they try in vain not to blink — for when they open their eyes, their name has been crossed out and a new name has replaced it. For better or for worse, records are made to be broken.
The Drake Track and Field team traveled to Iowa State over the weekend of Feb. 12 and 13 to compete in the ISU Classic. It was a weekend of fierce competition, a weekend of new personal records and a weekend of history in the making.
Two Drake school records were broken at the meet. Emma Huston shattered the women’s 5k record, running a 16:17.30 to crush the old record of 16:44.32 set in 2000. Reed Fischer also threw down a solid race, but just missed the record book—he ran a new PR of 8:06.88 in the 3k, just 0.44 seconds off the school record.
On the men’s team, Bas van Leersum ran the 400-meter in 47.53 seconds to beat the old record of 47.85, which set in 1982. As he crossed the line, he let out a scream of victory, happiness and a bit of surprise.
“My first thought was, ‘this time can’t be correct,’” van Leersum said. “Because I broke my indoor PR by almost a whole second, which is pretty rare in the 400m race.”
When I congratulated him moments after he finished, I asked him how the race felt. He was smiling ear to ear when he told me it “hurt like hell.”
For now, Emma’s and Bas’ names go down in the history books. It is impossible to know how long they will stand, or if they will ever fall. Regardless, they, alongside their teammates, had some outstanding performances this weekend that serve as sources of encouragement going into the MVC Conference Championship meet February 26-28.
We aspire to get better each meet, and after each meet we will share one athlete’s new best mark.
This week’s featured PR: Michael Dolan, weight throw, 15.55-meters (previous PR: 15.44-meters).