The Wheaton men’s and women’s track and field teams competed at Augustana College’s “Viking Olympics” this past Saturday. Both teams fared well, as the men finished fourth in the nine-team field and the women finished second out of eleven teams.
The Wheaton men finished with an overall team score of 87.67 points — ahead of fifth place St. Ambrose by 31 points.
The men’s team was led by senior Tommy Cole’s first place finish in the 400-meter hurdles, with a time of 53.79 seconds, and sophomore Leif Van Grinsven’s 15.29 and Cole’s 15.37 second finish in 110-meter hurdles, earning them second and third place, respectively. The 4 by 400-meter relay lineup of senior Sam Betram, sophomore David Dischinger, freshman Logan Pinkerton and junior Chris Lee earned a third place finish with 3:25:00.
“This week’s meet at Augustana consisted of a plethora of personal records for many of our athletes,” said sophomore Alex Hoshino. “As we are just beginning our outdoor season, this week was the diesel filling our engines in preparation for the many outdoor competitions to follow.”
A similar theme played out for the women’s team who finished with 155 points, ahead of their next competitor, UW-Whitewater, by 55 points.
The Thunder’s two first place finishes came at the hand of the 4 by 400-meter relay team, made up of freshman Marissa Heath, senior Sarah Frey, junior Nicole Kitchen and senior Rachel Thompson, who finished 3:57:94 — which marks the women’s fifth straight first place finish in the 4 by 400-meter relay — and sophomore Anna Ifft’s triple jump leap of 11.44-meters. Women’s senior track captain Tabitha Evans finished third in the triple jump with a distance of 10.76-meters.
“We had a lot of really good performances on the girls’ side, quite a few first place finishes and innumerable season or lifetime bests,” noted captain Evans. “I think this sets us up very well as a team to continue performing at a high level, and I’m excited to see how far we can go this season.”
Both Thunder track teams continue to show signs of improvement while continuing their stellar performance, which is expected out of the reigning 2017 CCIW indoor women champions and men’s team that is making its own run for a conference title. Up next for the Thunder is their own Wheaton Invitational this Saturday, Apr. 8, held at McCully Stadium and Lawson Field.