Four school records set at track and field Indoor Championships

By Daniel Kerwin

The men’s and women’s track and field teams held nothing back at the MIAC Indoor Conference Championships this past week, breaking four school records and recording multiple personal best performances over the competition. Having such strong results this early is encouraging since both teams are only now starting the transition to outdoor competition, the main focus of the season.

“This was midterms, and we passed the midterms with flying colors with where our training is at,” Head Coach Martin Peper said. “People stepped up and reached a higher level. If you look at what the relay teams did and take the individual splits, many of them would have placed in individual events.”Two of the school records were set in each of the men’s and women’s Distance Medley Relay (DMR) events.

Tyson Morgan ’09, Andrew Yokom ’09, Josh Springer ’08 and Wade Ekstrom ’10 recorded a time of 10:20.94 in the men’s DMR, narrowly finishing second to St. Olaf, but shattering the old school record and also beating the previous best meet record.

“Coach Matt [Haugen] was talking about a possible school record before the meet,” Yokom said, adding that after the meet “Coach Matt was really excited. He was up until like two a.m. that morning.”

Ekstrom ran the last section of the relay, the mile run, in just under 4:20, a time that would have placed him third in the individual event.

“My season wasn’t going so well and I wasn’t where I wanted to be,” Ekstrom said. “To have my best race ever was great; it was a great confidence booster.”

In the women’s DMR, Anna Hankins ’10, Emily Matthews ’10, Robin Major ’11 and Emilie Schur ’10 recorded a time of 12:5.70, finishing fourth in the event.

“I don’t think any of us expected to do as well as we did,” Schur said. “Emily [Matthews] had just finished running a race, Robin was our alternate and just found out she was running on Friday morning and we had all just finished a challenging week of school so it was a surprise how well we all came together.”

“We’re a young team, and we had some untimely injuries and illnesses, but everyone on the relays really stepped up for the team,” Matthews said. “In the Distance Medley, Emilie sprinted the last 50m at the end of her mile and passed a girl at the tape.”

Matthews was also part of the 4X200-meter relay team, which also placed fourth.

Yokom played a role in the two other school records, which were achieved in the individual 55-meter dash and as a part of the men’s 4X200-meter relay team. Yokom placed fifth in the 55-meter dash finals with a time of 6.54; Kevin Williams ’09 placed eighth in the same race with a time of 6.65. The 4X200-meter relay team placed fourth with a time of 1:31.22, finishing only 0.15 out of second place.

“I’d been close to it,” Yokom said, referring to the school 55-meter dash record. “We were peaking so I thought it was possible, but I wasn’t expecting it.”

Despite the strong performances, both teams placed tenth overall for the competition. The overall results hardly detract from the overall success of the meet. A strong team finish would simply be a bonus at this
point in the season.

“Since we are such a small team we don’t really expect to be beating many other teams,” Maddie Mette ’10 said. “I love cheering on my teammates. Our team has a lot of energy and we are pretty close; this support is what makes us a stronger team.”

The team will have an easier time practicing during the outdoor season when the snow melts and Macalester’s outdoor track becomes usable. The biggest difference for the team however will be for the throwers, who have an increased number of events in the outdoor season. One of these events is the javelin, in which Evan Mitchell ’08 is a two-time MIAC champion.

“For me it will be very different because there will two sports I’ve never done before, so I’m really excited about that,” said Jenni Schubert ’11, who was the lone thrower representing the women’s team at the Indoor Championships.

Overall, as the weather continues to warm up, expect both teams to do the same.

“We’re based on being an outdoor team, we always do better outdoors than indoors,” Peper said.