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Augustana Observer

Track and field capture wins at Viking Olympics

Augustana Senior Joshua Thorson starts at the line of the Men’s 1500 meter race at the Augustana Viking Olympics home meet.

Wind, clouds and a slew of opposing teams were not enough to stop the Augustana Track and Field teams as both the men and women came out victorious on Saturday, Mar. 30. This meet marked the 78th annual Viking Olympics held at Paul V. Olsen Track.
Sophomore Noah Patterson, who competed in the 4×100 relay team that took second, was just one of many athletes who were hassled by the weather on Saturday afternoon.
“The cold was the biggest problem for me. After my first race I tightened up from the cold and wasn’t able to compete in my other two events. It was a problem for many of us and we had a bunch of people have to bow out of events,” Patterson said.
The Paul V. Olsen Track was no stranger to action on Saturday afternoon as the men’s competition had 28 teams in total while the women’s team had 24.
Augustana was able to take down all opposing teams as the men’s team turned in a team score of 118.33 to secure the victory and the women’s team picked up 91.5 points by the end of the afternoon.
The men’s team had two individual winners. Senior Cody Wheeler threw the hammer 192’7″ to get the victory and senior Clayton Sommers ran the 400 intermediate hurdles in :54.80 to secure first place.
Sommers, who was the CCIW Track Athlete of the Week the previous week, did not improve his time from the meet before, but his previous best of :53:59 ranks second in the nation on the young 2019 outdoor season.
“We knew I wasn’t going to make nationals indoor, so we used to that time to focus on my training. This is my eighth year running the hurdles, so I have been perfecting my form on my own as well as learning from some excellent 400 hurdlers I was behind in past years. I made the nationals last year for the hurdles, and I’m hoping to repeat that and end up as an All-American again this year,” Sommers said.
The Vikings also picked up points from Ryan Ganson, Nick Harvey and Josh Teets, all taking home second place finishes. Ganson threw the javelin 181′ 5″, Harvey ran the 800 in 1:59.09 and Teets ended 4:02.14 in the 1500.
Augustana track and field was just as successful when it came to the women’s events. The Vikings won four events.
One of the biggest wins for the Vikings was in the pole vault. Augustana swept the top three spots in order to obtain 33.5 of their 91.5 points in the event. Senior Mackenzie Butcher jumped 12’4″ to win, first-year Kat Krebasch took second with a 11’8″ leap and junior Leah Flanagan rounded out the top three with a jump of 11’2 1/4″.
The First home meet of the weekend gave the woman vaulters a boost according to Butcher. 
“We knew this weekend was a good opportunity for us to do well as a vault squad so we made the most of it,” Butcher said.
Winning didn’t stop there for the Vikings as they were able to take two of the three relay events on the day. The 4×400 squad of juniors Madi Glatz and Sofia Wajner, first-year Lizzie Oswalt and senior Morgan McEnroe turned in a time of 4:14.94 to win the event.
Following that, the 4×800 unit consisting of sophomore Alexis Bennis, senior Margaret Utgaaro, first-year Irais Tenorio, and senior Michelle DeArmond finished in 10:30.3 to secure another Vikings first place finish.
Augustana also picked up points when junior Katie Eastburn took first in the 400 meter with a time of :57.78 to round out the Viking’s victories.
The Vikings will be hoping for better weather this weekend as the men compete in the Ashton May Invitational in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, while the women compete at the UW-LaCrosse Invite.
Featured Image: Augustana Senior Joshua Thorson starts at the line of the Men’s 1500 meter race at the Augustana Viking Olympics home meet. Photo by Ian Murrin.

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Track and field capture wins at Viking Olympics