Although the CSB/SJU Dual Meet against Concordia on March 16 was intended to be the first outdoor meet of the season, the brutal Minnesota winter forced the teams to compete indoors.
However, this turn of events did not faze the CSB/SJU Track and Field teams as both triumphed over Concordia-Moorhead.
The Johnnies, who won nine of the 12 events, emerged with a 75-49 victory over the Cobbers. Senior Kevin Horton was the star of the day, setting two new school records in the 60- (7.13) and the 200-meter (22.49) dashes.
“Of course it feels good any time you get a personal best,” Horton said. “You get to see the fruits of all the hard work you’ve put into the season. In this way, it was a good meet for all the sprinters since almost every one of us posted a season best or personal best time at the meet.”
Other standout individual performances include those of juniors Willie Versen and John Subialka. Versen finished first in the 800-meter (1:59.63) while Subialka won the 1,500-meter by three seconds (4:07.47). Sophomore Jake Lammi placed first in the 400-meter dash with a time of 50.57 seconds, and junior Rob Sybrant won the shot put with a distance of 13.71 meters.
The jumpers also had a successful meet with senior Tyler Martin and first-year Zach Roy both marking 6.03 meters in the long jump. Senior Brady O’Brien, who claimed All-Conference honors in the triple jump at the MIAC Indoor Championships, took first in the same event with a distance of 13 meters.
“After getting All-Conference indoors, I’d definitely like to repeat that outdoors,” O’Brien said. “But since it’s senior year, my goal is to make it to nationals. I’d probably have to add a meter to my best jump, but I feel like I could put together that one miracle jump. I just have to pray my legs can handle it.”
Meanwhile, CSB individuals also performed well, clinching nine of 13 events. Junior Lindsey Wales set a personal record in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:00.83, and first-year Samantha VanErp recorded a personal best in the long jump (17 feet).
“Having the meet indoors obviously gives us ‘good weather,’ so it is nice not having to take into account the wind and temperature conditions,” VanErp said. “Since it is so early in the outdoor season, and being one of the few schools that did compete on Saturday, it’s nice just to get a head start on getting good times, distances and heights to go toward qualifying for the outdoor conference meet.”
Although the weather is not yet ideal, the Johnnies and Blazers hope to move outdoors sooner rather than later.
“We look at the indoor season as developmental for the outdoor season,” CSB head coach Robin Balder-Lanoue said. “We have set ourselves up for a great outdoor season and we are looking forward to it. We are very hopeful that the snow will be melted by the time we come back from spring break.”
“For track people, the outdoor season is what everyone waits for,” O’Brien added. “Obviously the weather isn’t an issue when you’re indoors, so that’s nice, but there’s nothing like running in the sun. If you ask anyone who runs track, the outdoor season is the best. Track is meant to be run outdoors.”
St. Ben’s Track and Field will travel to San Antonio, Texas over spring break to compete in the Tiger Relays on March 29, while the Johnnies will return to action at 10 a.m. April 6 at the Hamline Invitational in St. Paul.