By Clinton Dick
Splitting up isn’t always easy, but the track team will have to this week in order for everyone to compete. Some athletes will compete at the Tabor Invitational Wednesday, while the rest are scheduled to contend at the Kansas University Relays Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
“It is kind of a logistical challenge,” said Jim Helmer, head men’s track coach. “This week is just a lot of trying to figure out who is going where and we have gotten a lot of good of how we have structured it in the past.”
The team splits up at this time every year because there are certain standards that must be met in order to make the KU Relays. Mike Kirkland, head women’s track coach, says he is not a fan when this week rolls around each year.
“It is not an ideal week because we don’t like splitting up the group,” said Kirkland. “Not everybody can get into the KU Relays, but we are far enough along with our training that changing things up slightly is not a huge deal.”
The Builders are looking to build off of one of their best outdoor performances of the season on April 16 at the Pittsburg State Gorilla Classic.
“It proved not only to be an outstanding meet competitive wise, but we had ideal weather,” said Kirkland. “We had a lot of career bests and seasonal bests and if they weren’t, they were certainly improvements from past weeks.”
On the women’s side, Alissa Gould, freshman, broke the school record in pole vaulting for the second time this season.
“I am just trying to build off of that and do good at Tabor on Wednesday,” said Gould. Her performance of 9-10 ½ was also good enough to earn her seventh place.
Kirkland says that many of the mid-distance and distance runners performed well at the meet.
“Both Taylor (Kinnamon, business administration junior,) and Cori (Hunt, undecided freshman,) had significant improvements in the 800 meter run and the 5000 meter group ran faster,” said Kirkland.
Kinnamon and Hunt took eight and ninth place in the 800 meter with times of 2:27.03 minutes and 2:29.48 respectively.
In the 5000, Sydnee Nelson, biochemistry sophomore, Jacey Cullop, biology junior, and Mallorie Coffman, biology freshman finished sixth, ninth and tenth respectively. Nelson ran a time of 20:01.03, Cullop a time of 20:49.07 and Coffman a time of 21:24.52.
In the field events, Mandy Bostwick threw a distance of 129-0 in the hammer throw competition.
“Mandy threw pretty close to her career best,” said Kirkland. “She is on the verge of throwing a big one.”
On the men’s side, Colton Siler hit a provisional qualifying mark for nationals in the 100 meter dash, despite that he already hit the automatic earlier this year. His time was 10.67 seconds.
“Colton Siler is on a roll,” said Helmer. “He had a big meet and is running really well.”
It was also a big day for the 4×100 meter relay team as they qualified a time for the first time this season. They finished with a time of 42.48, which was good enough to earn fourth place.
“They ran really well and that was the first time we were able to get the stick around the track,” said Helmer. The team consisted of Kevin Rodgers, junior, Chandler Kirkhart, business administration junior, Derek Henderson, freshman, and Colton Siler, psychology junior.
In the throwing events, Chris Paddock, religion and philosophy freshman, and Rodaius German, sports management junior, hit personal bests.
“Chris Paddock had a big personal best in the discus,” said Helmer. “Rodaius German had a personal record in the hammer.”
Paddock threw a distance of 142-10 in the discus competition and earned 10th place. German threw a distance of 131-8 in the hammer throw.
Helmer says he was pleased with the team’s efforts at Pittsburg State, but the team needs to work on becoming more consistent on a week to week basis now.
“Our ultimate goal is to put ourselves in a position to win a conference championship,” said Helmer. “We are a young team and we have to build on what we were able to do last week and get some momentum going into the conference championship. We’ve got a chance to keep our streak going.”
Clinton Dick is a sophomore majoring in convergent journalism. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.