The Southwestern men's and women's indoor track and field teams competed on Saturday, Jan. 26, at the first indoor meet since returning from winter break.
The Spartans traveled to Grinnell, Iowa, for the Grinnell College Invitational. Due to the nasty weather in January this was the first meet back for the Spartan squad, and even though the team was a bit rusty the weekend offered up some great performances and several new school records.
"We were very rusty coming off of a long winter break, it showed throughout the day as we just weren't very sharp in any event the whole day," mentioned Spartan Head Coach Trey Bruton. "It's not easy coming off a break like that, and then having to wait an extra week more than you planned to compete. With that all in mind it was a very successful day for us, and we achieved a lot of positive things that will set the tone for us the rest of this indoor season."
On the women's side, freshman Elenani Tinai broke another school record, this time in the long jump, beating the prior record by 6 centimeters, as well as fellow freshman Danielle (Dani) Costain, who broke the women's triple jump record by an astonishing 19 centimeters. They both followed that performance up with another school record when the quartet of Tinai, Costain, Hoffman, and Jessen shattered the indoor women's 4x400 relay record by more than 5 seconds.
On the men's side, the quartet of Vandor, Miller, Ouverson, and Watson ran to a first-place finish in the Distance Medley Relay, as well the quartet of Miller, Vandor, Portis, and Selmer, who sprinted to a victory in the 4x400m relay. However, the highlight of the day on the men's side may have been freshman Nicolae (Alex) Vandor with a new school record, first place finish, and national qualifying mark in the 800m race.
"Coming in we had high hopes and an expectation to achieve a few more national qualifiers than we did, but with how the chips have fallen with the weather and not being in meet shape yet, taking down as many school records as we did is a good sign for us moving forward," summarized Bruton.