The women and men’s indoor track teams competed at the “Rumble in the Jungle” on Jan. 20 at the Plaster Center. Both teams won the meet overall. Sophomore Braylen Brewer broke the indoor track record for the 400m dash and was a part of the 4×400 m relay that broke the school record as well.
“It went well. We did some things we were pleased with and some things we needed to work on, but overall, we were pleased with our team’s effort. We had some good performances with some young athletes, and so we were wanting to see how they did.”,” said head track coach Kyle Rutledge
Freshman TJ Caldwell won the 60 m hurdles overall with a time of 7.96 seconds. The “Rumble in the Jungle” was the first indoor meet of the new year.
“Just win. Everything is strictly business right now. We just have to clean everything up and fix it up before nationals,” said Caldwell.
“It was a smaller meet like we wanted. First, meet of the year, we wanted to get our feet wet and see how we are, get our kids into a lot of events, and just see how they competed. This early in the season we just need to get some reps in. We accomplished that and saw what we needed to see to get ready for this next weekend and ultimately at the conference championships,” said Rutledge.
Conference Championships will be Feb. 25-27 and will be hosted by Missouri Northwest.
“To be indoor for men and women of course that’s our number one goal. Our conference is very difficult, and everyone is always trying to win it. That’s our ultimate team goal and how each individual can play their part to help that is what we’re trying to do. For individuals, how can each person do their part?” said Rutledge.
Looking to championships, the track team is focusing on different things to work on.
“At this point in time, we want to see how you’re competing. How are you handling your emotions right now, how do you handle your fears, how can you execute what we’ve been working on in practice. That’s our number one thing right now. How are we preparing for the meet? Once we get later into the season, we want to see if we are getting things ready for the conference championship then the national championship. That’s what we’re trying to help these kids with and build to. And we have a good time that can accomplish a lot of things, but a lot of things have to go our way. We have to stay healthy and learn how to compete at a higher level,” said Rutledge.
Along with looking for a team championship at the conference, freshman Hunter Jones is looking for an individual placing at the national level as well.
“I’m looking for a top-four finish in nationals,” said Jones.
Both teams will compete at the Wendy’s and Pittsburg State Invitational on Jan. 29 at the Plaster Center.