By Prisca Kim
kimprisc@grinnell.edu

Last Saturday, the men’s and women’s track and field teams broke records and exceeded expectations at the Wartburg Invitational College meet in Waverly. The men’s team placed fourth out of seven teams with a team total of 25 points and the women finished fifth out of six teams with a score of 26 points. Today and tomorrow, they will compete at the 2013 Midwest Conference Indoor Championships at Monmouth College.

“We’re still focusing on getting fit and fast and strong and learning how to do certain things. Despite it being early in the season, I think we’re doing great. We’ve got great team cohesion [and] great teamwork going on. We’re breaking school records and getting a lot of entries in our top ten list … so I think things are going really well heading into the indoor conference meet,” said head women’s track and field coach Evelyn Freeman.

At last week’s meet, the third meet of the season, Nora Bresette Buccino ’16 broke a new school record of 10.40 in the women’s 60 hurdles. The 4×200 relay team of Emily Clennon ’14, Christine Ajinjeru ’14, Eloise Miller ’15 and Bresette Buccino ran the second fastest time in school history at 1:50.10. Ajinjeru ran her best time ever in the 400 with a time of 59.30 and is now number two on the all-time list. Distance runner Diana Seer ’15 placed seventh in the mile with a time of 5:32.43.

Nate Kolacia ’16 from the men’s team was just awarded Midwest Conference Track Athlete of the Week for his performance in the mile. Participating in the pole vault, Jake Lindstrom ’14 finished third at 4.10 meters. In the men’s 4×200 meter relay, the team consisting of Quinton Banks ’13, David Garwood ’13, Ronald Edwards ’14 and Kyle Moorehead ’15 arrived in third place with a time of 1:35.43.

“We’ve got a great freshman class on both the men and women’s side so that’s really exciting for us to see how well they’re doing this early in their college career,” Freeman said.
For this upcoming Conference meet on Saturday, Frank Canady ’14 will be running both the 5000m and 3000m. Kolacia will be running the mile and the 800. Isabelle Miller ’13 will run the 400 and also in the sprint relays.

“There’s a lot of strategic planning involved in who runs what event. Not everyone on the team can go because we’re limited to three entries per event,” Freeman said. “So that’s part of the plan: trying to figure out where to spread people around. Our goal is to perform our best time or distance that we’ve had thus far and use that heading out to the outdoor season.”