Multi-event home meet tests top track athletes
With the abilities to soar 13 feet into the air, break personal records and cinch second place out of 16 in a decathlon, it’s no wonder Linfield’s track and field athletes are setting the bar high and keeping it there.
At a meet March 24 and 25, Linfield hosted a decathlon-heptathlon meet, including such events as pole vault, the 1500-meter run and long jump.
During the two-day meet, two athletes, sophomore Josh Lovell and junior Laura Sibley, fought tooth and nail for the top prize, and nearly grabbed it, finishing second and fourth place, respectively.
“The multi-events take a lot of effort to prepare for, both physically and mentally,” Sibley said. “The mental aspect is what I have struggled with in the past. It is challenging if you don’t compete the way you want to in one event to bounce back 30 minutes later and compete well in the next event.”
Lovell set a blistering pace the first day, earning high marks all around and placing in the top five in all events except the discus during both days.
The glory of the gold, however, was taken by Eastern Oregon University’s Lucas Ohmes, who made a surprising comeback during the second day.
“I felt pretty (good) about my performance and the meet gave me a good idea as to how my body is holding up,” Lovell said. “It’s nice to get a decathlon under my belt before the conference decathlon, where it really counts.”
Sibley excelled in the running events, but was set back by the shot put, high jump and javelin events. She was able to work her way up from fifth place on the first day to fourth place.
“I was excited about my performance,” she said. “It was nice to see where I was at with all of the events and figure out how much more potential I have to score a lot higher at conference.”
At Willamette University’s Charles Bowles Spring Break Classic on March 21, the Wildcat women were the leaders of the pack.
Sophomore Marci Klimek took first in the 5000-meter, setting a new personal record for herself in the process. Senior Casey Stepan outpaced her competition to win the 1,500-meters by two seconds.
Junior Gabe Haberly took first place in the pole vault event, leaping 4.1 meters into the air. Junior Dean Kongslie tied for first place in the high jump, with his 1.82-meter jump.
“It was good to win an event such as pole vault,” Haberly said. “There was some good competition from our conference there, so winning an event is definitely important.”
On March 14, George Fox University hosted the Frank Haskins Invitational.
The meet was an overall success for the ’Cats, with sophomores Clint Moore and Shawn Fisher taking first in the discus and 800-meter, respectively.
Freshman Kaycee Hallstrom also received top place in the women’s shot put, throwing 9.69 meters.
“I felt very good about the men finishing first and the women second as a team at the Frank Haskin meet, mostly because we weren’t at full strength yet,” head coach Garry Killgore said. “We used the other two meets as tune-ups for our (coming) conference championships with good results.”