The Southwestern men's and women's track and field teams were back in action this last week. A small group of Spartans competed Thursday and Friday April 18-19 at the prestigious Kansas Relays in Lawrence, Kansas. Then the whole squad traveled on Saturday, April 20, to the Dick Young Invite in Grinnell.
The weekend featured some of the best weather and best performances of the season for the Spartan squad. On Saturday the sun was shining and the temperatures were perfect for successful performances. So much so every single Spartan athlete set at least one season best, and many had numerous season best and lifetime PRs.
"Finally getting the good weather played a key factor in our success this last weekend," said Head Track and Field Coach Trey Bruton.
On Thursday night, the men's 800 runners put out some tremendous efforts to achieve the national qualifying mark in the 4x800 relay by composite time. Individually, Alex Vandor secured himself a spot at the National Championships by hitting the national qualifying mark in the 800 meter run, doing so by running the qualifying time of 1:54.80 exactly. Friday, the men came back and competed in a hard fought 4x800 relay.
On Saturday, there were too many outstanding performances to count, but the Spartans came away event champions in the following events: women's long jump (Elenani Tinai), men's 1,500 meters (Phil Selmer), men's 3,000 meter steeplechase (Shane Breheny), men's 10,000 meters (Austin Lundy), men's 400 meters (Benjamin Aliel), and men's 4x400 relay (Vandor, Eric Portis, Selmer, Aliel).
"It was what we really needed out of a weekend! We have some student athletes that have established themselves as contenders in the conference and even on the national stage and we are going to do what we can to make as much of that a reality as possible. We have had a tough go of it so far and to finally see everything start coming into place really boost our confidence as we head into the postseason where it really matters," summarized Coach Bruton.