The indoor track and field teams travelled to Joplin, Missouri Friday, Feb. 1 to compete in the two-day Missouri Southern Lion Open.
Head coach Russ Jewett believes both teams did well at the competition.
“Well, considering where we are in the season, I thought we did satisfactory,” Jewett said. “We had a few outstanding individual performances… I think we had pretty good team energy and (it was) just a stepping stone to the big stuff coming down the road here in a couple weeks. I think we did fine.”
On the first day of the competition, junior Levi Wyrick and junior Brianna Cooks both broke their personal records in the weight throw.
“They both did a great job in the weight (throw)…” Jewett said. “They threw (their) lifetime best and anytime you can do that you have done really well,”
On Saturday, the women recorded two individual event wins. Sophomore Haven Lander won the pole vault and senior Jordan Puvogel won the mile run.
“… Jordan ran a controlled race early and then pulled away late,” Jewett said. “She did a great job of kicking off at an even pace… so that is a good skill to develop. Then (for) Haven, winning against really good pole vaulters is really good. She broke the four-meter mark out of thirteen feet again so she (has) done that consistently now and (is) having a great indoor season.”
On the men’s team, there were four individual events wins, including junior Savion Cauveren in the 60-meter hurdles, senior Kai Miller in the pole vault, sophomore Colin Webber in the mile run, and the 4×400 meter relay team consisting of freshman Nizar Alarahshun, freshman Austin Maiden, senior Slade Nordic, and Cauveren.
“Savion did a good job of coming away with a win,” Jewett said. “It was not a super-fast time, but it was a little bit of an ugly race (and) being able to keep it together and win is good. Kai Miller is real consistent right now and so that was a nice win for him. I was really pleased with Colin Webber’s mile. It was a breakthrough for him… He raced tactically, very smart and then of course the outcome was good too. (It was) his lifetime best…”
The fourth Annual Indoor Gorilla Classic is set to start Friday, Feb. 9.
“It is a really big meet,” Jewett said. “There is a lot of great teams coming in here, some of the best teams in Division-II and we have some Division-I teams that are going to have at least part of their team here as well, so (this is an) opportunity for our top-level performers to really be challenged. We are just expecting better performances… We are still making some silly mistakes and mostly it is younger athletes, so we have to get over that… You can be really fit and ready, but if you make dumb mistakes you are costing your team. So, we are past midway part of the season, so it time to start competing a little smarter.”