Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Men’s track looks for champions

As they’re coming out of the Viking Olympics, which they placed first of 10, and the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse Invitational, which they placed second of 15, the men’s track and field team are gearing up for the Meet of Champions, which is to take place this Saturday at home.
Both men’s track head coach Paul Olsen and senior and captain Camilo Duarte are excited for this meet.
“This is the best DIII meet in the country. It has great competition,” Olsen said.
Both Olsen and Duarte see huge potential for the team’s success, and for our athletes to push themselves to improve on current records.
“We will see our team being pushed by really good competition,” Duarte said.
Last year, the Vikings finished second at this meet, finishing about 12 points behind CCIW rival North Central College. The Vikings topped teams such as the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, UW-Plateville, Luther College and more.
Duarte said he expects the Vikings to perform well at the meet.
“I look forward to seeing blue and gold on top of the podium because nothing can beat the joy on the team’s face when they see teammates succeed,” Duarte said.
Olsen said the key for the Vikings will be the number of quality athletes in each event. Currently, Olsen said there are about 11 athletes that are ranked in the top 50 in the nation.
“Balance is our greatest strength,” said Olsen. “We have outstanding throwers, hurdlers, jumpers, sprinters, distance runners and a great set of pole vaulters.”
After this meet, the team will be looking at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa next weekend and towards hosting the CCIW conference meet on May 5 and 6. Using the Meet of Champions as a standard, Duarte said the goal for the conference meet is to finish first.
“The goal for the team is to retain its outdoor conference title,” said Duarte, “which I believe is completely obtainable.”
However, the team has to focus first on the Meet of Champions. Duarte said this will be a key meet and hopes there will be an influx of spectators at the meet to help cheer on fellow vikings.
“This is all very exciting, so the team, as a whole, would love to have more Augie fans out supporting them during the meets,” Duarte said.

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Men’s track looks for champions