The Pitt State men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in the Fourth Annual Indoor Gorilla Classic Friday Feb. 8 to Saturday Feb. 9 in the Robert W. Plaster Center.
Head coach Russ Jewett said there were good performances on both the men’s and women’s teams.
“… (There were) some really good (performances) and some minor disappointments,” Jewett said. “We are still not hitting on all cylinders with either team. Hopefully, we can get it together and get it done, but we did have some pretty good performances. So, we try to think about the really good things, but it is hard to ignore some of the deficiencies.”
Sophomore Haven Lander broke her own Pitt State record in the pole vault. Senior Jordan Puvogel and junior Cassidy Westhoff also broke their personal records in the mile run. Senior Renee Rhodes and freshman Catherine Simpkins picked up PQ marks in the pole vault.
“Well, I think a couple (students stood out during the meet),” Jewett said. “Once again, Haven Lander is in a groove right now. She is sort of in the zone (and she is) competing very well, jumping very high (and) she broke a school record again. (She) is the nation leader in the pole vault, so it is hard not to recognize her outstanding performances yet again.”
On the men’s team, sophomore Colin Webber broke the 21-year-old record at Pitt State in the men’s 800 meters. Senior Kai Miller recorded an individual event victory in the pole vault and freshman Konner Swenson picked up a PQ in the shot put.
“On the guys side, we had a school record go down that was, I think, 20 years old,” Jewett said. “Our 800-meter school record was broken by a young man who is a sophomore in our program Colin Webber. I was very proud of him. That was a lot better race than he has ever run in the 800 before, so it was his personal best by like three seconds.”
According to Jewett, the men’s and women’s teams are already preparing for the MIAA Indoor Championships, which will take place in Maryville, Missouri Friday, Feb. 22 to Sunday, Feb. 24. Before the conference championships, the track and field teams have one more competition to attend. The next meet is the Nebraska Tune-Up in Lincoln, Nebraska, Friday, Feb. 15.
“Well… it is our last opportunity to prepare ourselves for the conference championship, which is a week from this Friday (Feb. 22),” Jewett said. “So, this coming weekend is all about preparing for the championship the following weekend. Some will compete to do that up at Nebraska and fine tune some things we need to as competitors. But some that will compete at conference will not compete this weekend… to prepare them for the conference championship and that will be more like distance runners… some of them we will better off training rather than racing the weekend before conference, it just depends on who they are.”