Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Men's Track and Field: Tough competition and higher stakes at weekend meet

The Augustana Men’s Track and Field team will participate in the “Squig” Converse Invitational on Friday, Jan. 3o, at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater and are expecting tough competition.
The Invitational is the fourth competition this year, and the third time that both the runners and throwers will compete together. Opponents will include North Central and Whitewater, both of which currently hold top five spots in Division III  standings.
” We come in knowing that this is the first competition that has very strong competition,” said senior David Voland. “I always like this … because times start to get faster, and when the competition is faster, we get faster.”
At the Monmouth Invitational, Voland won both the 300 meter sprint and the 60 meter hurdles.  He is looking forward to improving his times at the Squig competition.
“At the Whitewater competition, we start to get our legs back,” said Voland. “After the long winter break, it is hard to come back prepared, but this will be the third competition where we will start to see times getting faster.”
While Voland commonly places in top finishing positions, he is going to have to meet or exceed his times at the Monmouth Invitational to take first at the Squig Invitational.  Voland is expected to return to both the 300 meter sprint and 60 meter hurdles, but will also run the 4 by 400 meter relay.
Teammate Keith Cline has always been keeping Voland at the top of his game. Cline also ran the 300 meter sprint at Monmouth, but took a close third.
Cline is more intensively preparing for this next 300 meter sprint  because he wants to keep chasing first place at all of the events he runs in.  He believes that running hard is more than just making himself better; it is also about making the team better as a whole.
“By taking third at Monmouth it not only made me faster, but it also pushed my teammates to run faster,” said Cline. “This sport is commonly thought of as an individual sport, which it is, but at the same time, you need a team to help you get better.”
Senior Robert McNeil ran on the 4 by 200 meter relay, taking fourth at the Monmouth Invitational.  He was the only senior on the relay team, the rest being freshmen.  Robert has been helping everyone on the team by being a leader.
“The team is bigger than ever, and with a lot of runners, we need to have leaders on the team to keep everyone running as fast as possible,” said McNeil.
The team will try to bring back first place when it heads north for the Whitewater Invitational this weekend.

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Men's Track and Field: Tough competition and higher stakes at weekend meet