Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Track teams finish strong at home meet


The women’s and men’s track and field teams competed at their second home meet of the season over the past weekend. The women placed second and the men placed first.
The women’s Viking Invitational was held on Friday, Apr. 20, while the men’s Meet of Champions was held on Saturday, Apr. 21.
For a weekend full of tough competition, both teams were pleased with their results, especially as they get closer to the end of the season. Senior captain, Kyle Hucker, said the combination of a home advantage and nice weather allowed the teams to finish well.
“There were season and lifetime best performances across the board,” Hucker said. “We finally got some decent weather that allowed us to show off all the work we’ve been putting in.”
Because of cold and winter weather conditions early in the season, two of the meets have been canceled. One of the meets was a home meet. Senior captain, Sydney Zaragoza, was glad to finally compete in spring-like weather.
“Our team has kept our heads high and have continued to push through despite the weather issues,” Zaragoza said. “We still train hard and perform to our very best each time we step onto the track.”
The teams felt they had a home track advantage when performing on the Paul V. Olsen track. Since they practice nearly every day on that blue and gold track, the teams had more confidence when competing over the weekend.
“We have a desire to run our fastest at home because this is where we are most comfortable and are most supported by our peers,” Zaragoza said. “However, our team’s mindset is the same going into every meet, just to leave everything we have out there on the track.”
For the men’s team, as the season continues, each meet is more sentimental since it is head coach Paul Olsen’s last season. The team wants to have a successful final season for their beloved head coach. So far at their home meets, they have placed first both times.
“We try not to focus on that and just run the best we can, but we still all want to perform as best as we can to make sure Olsen goes out on a high note,” Hucker said.
Both teams have hopes of finishing out their seasons strong. With the conference championships in a couple weekends, the team is focused on preparing for successful results.
Their seasons continues even after graduation with nationals being the week after. The teams also have goals of competing there and finishing well.
“Weather is getting better, and we will start to ease off the workouts a little bit allowing to perform even better than we have been,” Hucker said. “We have a lot of potential to bring a large squad to the national meet at the end of May.”
The track and field teams will compete at the Drake Relays on Friday, Apr. 27 through Saturday, Apr. 28.
Photo above: Junior Brandon Wilkerson runs past the water barrier during the steeplechase. Photo by Ian Murrin.

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Track teams finish strong at home meet