Nash Trumbly reporter
The Pittsburg State track and field teams traveled to compete at the Washburn Open track meet. With only two meets remaining before the team heads to the MIAA Indoor championships, the team is ramping up its efforts, and dialing in on improvement.
“Overall, I’m very pleased with our competitive effort and how we’ve progressed, we have a pretty heavy training load, so I was pleased with how we competed through the fatigue,” said Head Coach Kyle Rutledge.
A transfer student from Coffeyville Community College took the meet by storm. Cordell Tinch, a sophomore at PSU, made his track and field debut this weekend, finishing first in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 7.66 seconds, beating the record set just last week by his teammate T.J. Caldwell, who ran a 7.74 in the Wendy’s PSU Invitational.
“I’m still looking to improve my hurdle time, which sounds wild to say but after watching my race I felt there was a lot of things I could have done better on, but I’m also really excited to start competing in the high jump next week,” said Tinch.
Tinch also competed in the long jump, beating school records with a mark of 26 feet and 0.75 inches, almost seven full inches over the rest of the competition. These performances not only shattered records domestically, but set the bar for the entire DII conference this season.
“After not competing for two and half years, I think my opening weekend went pretty much as well as it could have gone,” said Tinch.
After his impressive performances, Tinch had nothing but praise for track program and his teammates.
“Track is a sport where you’re growing with guys all year long and you really build your team chemistry throughout the fall, and even though I missed that period, I’m really thankful to the team for welcoming me in and making me feel like I’ve been here the whole time,” said Tinch.
For the women’s team, Auna Childress took gold in the long jump with a personal best of 19-2.
“I’m looking forward to getting better and preparing for conference and nationals, these next two meets are really critical for us and I’m working on getting stronger even though I’m really fatigued,” said Childress.
As the team continues to improve and lock in, Rutledge is focused on consistency. The roster has had many records breaking runs, but has somewhat struggled to combine those across events.
“We just got to get into a rhythm where everyone is coming together at the same time, we have some people who are catching their stride and others who aren’t,” said Rutledge.
Regardless of the outcome, the team is in high spirits, and ready to take on the challenge ahead of them.
“I’m just so proud of my team and how far we have come, and so thankful to all of the coaches we have on staff this year,” said Childress.
The Gorillas will compete on Feb. 10 and 11 at the Plaster Center for the 8thAnnual Indoor Gorilla Classic.