By Paul Langan
The SJU track and field team is getting ready to host MIAC competitors in its second home meet of the season. As the team prepares to host multiple teams this weekend, Head Coach Jeremy Karger-Gatzow expressed his on-the-fence opinion about hosting.
“Home meets are more work,” Karger-Gatzow said. “Finding officials, meet set-up, take down and clean-up.”
Karger-Gatzow does, however, mention the benefits that the athletes get when St. John’s is hosting the event.
“[Athletes] get to roll out of bed,” Karger-Gatzow said. “It saves them time.”
Both players and coaches are proud of their overall performance last weekend at the Hamster Invite, but they realize that there is still room for improvement.
“We had a lot of guys win a lot of events.” SJU junior Drew Schoenbauer said. “A lot of the guys performed really well compared to some of the better guys in the MIAC.”
Schoenbauer, for example, won the 60-meter race last weekend at the Macalester Invite.
“A good group of upperclassmen have set a good example for the freshmen,” Karger-Gatzow said.
Although he is doing well, SJU sophomore Collin Trout, a long jumper and triple jumper, mentioned some things that need work for him personally.
“I got to work on form a little bit [at the meet],” Trout said. “I know what to do, I just need to execute it when I am actually there.”
Both Trout and Schoenbauer were optimistic about their training and feel that they are in the right mindset.
Since coming back it’s felt really good getting back into the swing of things,” Schoenbauer said after his semester abroad. “Overall, it is going as well as it could be.”
“We have been doing a lot of high intensity training right now,” Trout said. “A lot of weight very hard on the body, but it is building up my strength.”
Although both athletes acknowledged difficulties, they seem confident in their preparation as the indoor season is dwindling down.
Not only does the team want to do well this upcoming meet, it wants to continue to improve.
“Continuing on getting faster and stronger so I am able to compete in the MIAC championships and hopefully move on to Nationals,” Schoenbauer said. “I think that would be a lot of fun”.
Trout is working on his speed training to improve his jumps.
“I need to get faster to get better,” Trout said. “On top of that I’d like to stay consistent with my marks.”
Overall, the team is confident about their upcoming meet and ready to improve on any weaknesses so they can continue to win events. They are looking ahead to the biggest meet, the Indoor MIAC Championships at St. Olaf in Northfield, MN.
“We have a good group of athletes so if we get to the Conference meet healthy the team will do really well,” Karger-Gatzow said.
By Matt Captain
The College of St. Benedict Track and Field Team is coming off the Hamster Invite at Macalester.
“We look forward to every single meet. It is our chance to celebrate at the end of the week with the work we did during the week,” Head Coach Robin Balder-Lanoue said.
The team had a strong showing winning five events.
CSB junior Morgan Pierce won the 1-mile run with a time of 5 minutes and 27 seconds.
First-year Madison Brown won the 60-meter dash with a time of 8.10 seconds.
Junior Jenna Degen won the 60-meter hurdles with a 9.65 second finish.
In addition to these first place finishes, the team had four second place finishes and a number of third place finishes. Overall, the meet was a success with the Bennies finishing in second place, along with Sophomore Suntina Spehar won the high jump clearing 1.52 meters.
Sophomore Lee Stelten won the pole vault clearing 3.46 meters.
In addition to the Hamster Invite, one of CSB’s senior captains, Megan Sundstrom, competed at North Dakota State in the pentathlon. The pentathlon consisted of five events; shot put, long jump, high jump, 60-meter hurdles and an 800-meter run.
Sundstrom finished with personal bests in shot put and high jump as well as a season best in the long jump, 60-meter hurdles and 800-meter. Ultimately, Sundstrom finished fourth out of 10 competitors beating a number of Division I athletes.
Looking ahead the team will be back in action at 11 a.m. this Saturday, Feb. 11, as they host the CSB/SJU Invite in the McNeely Spectrum on the SJU campus.
“We are all very excited for the meet. It’s fun to be home. Every meet is a chance to show off our skills,” senior captain Renae Otto said. “We don’t take it as added pressure, we take it as home field advantage.”
With the indoor conference meet fast approaching, the team talked of the confidence they have in one another.
“The team always impresses me every meet. They always give their best effort so you can’t ask for anything better as a teammate,” Otto said.
Relationships they build with each other create a special team dynamic. With trust and success from previous meets, the stage is set for the home meet this Saturday.
“The beauty about our sport is that we always have measurable results that we are getting faster and stronger. We can see that our times are falling and we are throwing or jumping farther,” Balder-Lanoue said. “As long as we focus on pushing ourselves and keeping a championship attitude, we will be ready for conference. We have women that are looking at the conference list and pushing themselves to move up each week.”