Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Racing through the record books

The track and field program recently had its men’s team place third and its women’s team place second at the Solomon Butler Classic at the University of Dubuque on Feb 16. The meet was filled with a lot of individual accomplishments such as senior Emma Odle breaking the 3k school record. The current team’s success can be attributed to enthusiasm and feelings of bondedness on the team.  

Director of Cross Country and Track and Field, Chad Gunnelson, has really strong hopes as the team heads into the CCIW conference competition. 

“The team has been incredibly connected with great senior leadership through to a large but enthusiastic and positive freshman class,” Gunnelson said. “We’re a very young team. So you would think that that would kind of create some challenges, but we’re a very connected team. So that has put us in a really good position to kind of build on to create momentum.”

The success of the season so far has only built up momentum as the team has been improving every meet, setting new personal bests, and breaking school records. 

Younger members of the team say they are grateful for the experience of joining the team at a time of great success.

“I know that breaking records is something to celebrate, so when I see people doing this almost every week, it’s just something [that’s] cool to see and experience,” First-Year Aj Banks said. “I’m glad that I came in when I did, to be able to see athletes do that because they set a good example for kids like me, the younger ones that want to work hard and also set records.” 

Although the teams are performing at a high level, there is still room for improvement before the indoor championship.

“The next step for us will be for the athletes to trust and believe in themselves as much as their teammates and their coaches do,” Gunnelson said. “They need to trust their plan, trust their strategy, trust their fitness, and trust each other and perform well.”

Through the ups and downs, the team aims to continue to be supportive no matter the results.

“The team atmosphere is something I can’t even describe in words,” First-Year Allison Hunt said. “Every single person is so supportive and uplifting. It is so clear that the team is very motivated by one another and are all reaching for a common goal.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Augustana Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *