The men’s track and field team stayed home last weekend to host the Pittsburg State Tune-Up on Saturday, Apr. 24 at 11 a.m. in Carnie Smith Stadium.
“I think the men did really well,” said Head Coach Russ Jewett. “I think it was our best competition of the year from a performance standpoint. We competed as a team which is not always easy to do in track and field… We had a lot of lifetime bests and some provisional qualifying marks to the national meet that will hopefully get us in. Good outcome.”
Louis Rollins, graduate student in the Master of Science in technology program, won the 110-meter hurdles.
“Having the opportunity to win an event at any meet, at any level, is a blessing,” Rollins said. “I ran a pretty decent time in the preliminaries and looked to improve on that time, unfortunately I did not run a clean race so ran a few tenths slower, but it was still good to get the win and have this momentum moving into conference.”
Additionally, Brett Thompson won the javelin throw. Joshua Hudiburg placed second in the javelin. Raymond Bras placed second in the 110 hurdles and finished second in the 400-meter hurdles. Levi Wyrick placed second in the hammer throw with a PR and posted the second-best mark in Pitt State history with that throw. Konner Swenson placed second in the shot put. Hunter Jones finished second in the high jump. The 400-meter relay team of Brass, Sam Tudor, Makai Blades, and Tevin Wright-Rose placed second with a PQ mark. The 4×400 meter relay team of Tudor, Graham Hudelson, Matthew Morris and Rollins placed second with a PQ mark. Jerod Toogood placed third in the javelin. Swenson placed third in the hammer throw with a PR and posted the third-best throw in school history. Swenson also placed third in the discus. Diego Contreras raced to third place in the 5,000 meters. Trey Mooney placed third in the long jump. Cole Sample placed third in the shot put. Wyrick placed fifth in the discus.
Several of these competitors stood out to Jewett.
“…I would say maybe at the top of the list at that competition— Levi Wyrick in the hammer throw. He threw a really, really strong provisional.., second farthest throw in Pitt State history in the hammer throw so he did a great job there. Konner Swenson… had a great weekend. He threw just under two hundred feet in the hammer throw, number three on our all-time list, that’s a provisional qualifier then he had a seasonal best in the shot put… Raymond Brass had a great weekend. He ran on two relays that did really well and then he ran extremely well, had a lifetime best in the 110 hurdles and also in the 400 hurdles. Those are the ones I would point out. There were lots of other really good performances but those are the ones…, the lifetimes bests.., that really stand out at that competition.”
“I think more than anything our team came together and showed great team chemistry across the board,” Rollins said. “People often see track as an individual sport, and I think this meet we showed what track looks like as a team sport. Creating an environment like what we had this weekend led to a lot of great performances and personal bests. There were a ton of guys who achieved personal bests in their events… Raymond Brass in the 110 hurdles, 400 hurdles and 4×100 relay. Henry Falls in the 400 hurdles, Jared Becker who is also a part of our hurdle squad gained a new personal best in the 110H. Other performances that stood out, our javelin squad showed up as always and competed well with Brett Thompson bringing home a win. Levi Wyrick saw a new personal best in the hammer throw and was just shy of breaking the school record. The list could go on and on, but overall, we had great showing.”
Three distance runners on the men’s track and field team attended the Drake Relays competition on Thursday, Apr. 22.
“…Mason Strader won the Drake Relays College Division 1,500 with a lifetime best and a number three on our all-time list,” Jewett said. “Bryce Grahn… PRed by like almost ten seconds in the steeple chase and got a strong provisional qualifying mark to nationals. So, really proud of those two guys too.”
This year, Pittsburg State is hosting the MIAA Outdoor Championships which will take place from Saturday, May 8 through Sunday, May 9. The competition is set to begin at 10 a.m. in Carnie Smith Stadium.
“…I am looking forward to going out and competing with my team at conference,” Rollins said. “I have been a part of this team for… (six) years now and nothing beats the feeling of going into a MIAA conference championship with a Pitt State uniform on. This successful meet will be great momentum looking into the conference weekend.”
Jewett also has high hopes for the MIAA championship.
“…We hope we challenge for a title,” Jewett said. “…That’s always our mission, is to win conference championships… We gotta just fine tune a little bit here in training…”