Voland: Men’s track and field aims for better scores


Augustana Observer File Photo.

The men’s track and field team practices their starts off the block in preparation for upcoming meets.   Photo by Alex Cintado.
The men’s track and field team practices their starts off the block in preparation for upcoming meets.
Photo by Alex Cintado.

The Augustana men’s track and field team will have their first outdoor season away meet in the Midwest region, traveling to the Wartburg Outdoor Select meet on Thursday and Friday.
Augustana will be one of nine teams participating in the meet. Of the participants, the only other team that is ranked is Wartburg, who is number 25 according to the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Augustana is ranked number 8, down from number 5 the previous week.
The only other two regional meets where there were other teams competing were both at Augustana, in which the Vikings finished first and second in both of the meets. The only team they placed behind was Michigan Tech, who is a Division II team.
Senior David Voland, who was a part of a team that won the national championship in the 4×400 relay for Augustana, believes that the first few meets did not reflect the teams best scores, due to the team not yet being physically ready.
“When the outdoor season first starts it’s a lot mentally to get ready for,” Voland said. “The track is twice as big, and that doesn’t seem like a huge mental thing, but from a sprinter’s perspective you forget how fast you are allowed to let your legs go before dying at the end of a race.”
Three of the four members of the track team who were in the relay that won the national championship are seniors; however, seniors were not the only members who made an impact in the indoor season, and they aren’t the only members who have so far made an impact on the outdoor season.
In the indoor season, six of the 20 non-relay event season best scores were put up by freshmen. Voland believes that the performances by the first-years this year is a result of what they were told as recruits.
“One thing we always tell recruits when they come is that when you are here as a freshman you will make an instant impact on this team,” Voland said. “I think coming in as freshmen they realize that and they realize they have opportunities to come in and help everyone else including athletes who are trying to do national caliber things.”
Voland also believes that the teams scores will be a lot better heading into this third meet, for members of the team who went to nationals and also members of the team who did not.
“Now that the third meet is coming we are going to look forward to our times improving a lot as well,” Voland said. “And that is the way it is for every outdoor team you kind of have to get into the swing of it for a little bit.”
The next Viking home track meet is the Augustana Meet of Champions on April 18.