With a mind-numbing cold attacking them each step of the way, the Linfield track and field athletes proved they’re a force to be reckoned with once again at the Linfield Erik Anderson Icebreaker on March 7.
According to the Linfield Athletics Web site, more than 600 athletes competed.
The event was recently renamed in honor of former Linfield track and field and cross-country athlete Erik Anderson, who died last month in an on-the-job accident in Spokane, Wash. He graduated from Linfield in 1996.
The next competition for the Wildcats is the Northwest Conference Preview meet March 14, hosted by Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore.
For last weekend’s meet, the men pulled through the cold and notched up some wins.
Senior Mat Strum won the 400-meter dash in 50.09 seconds.
“It takes a different mindset,” Strum said. “It’s not like it’s the first time we’ve had to run in the cold, but you do have to start from a different baseline. I mean, you’re satisfied if it gets better than 40 degrees. You should go in thinking it’s going to get worse, not better.”
Strum said he was happy with his run time, saying he wasn’t worried about times this early in the season because of a combination of the weather, the earliness of the meet and the way he ran.
“I can’t be upset, considering the way I ran,” he said. “Though [we] runners definitely feel the cold.”
Strum said his goal for the season is to be running the 400 in fewer than 49 seconds. To qualify provisionally for the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championship in the men’s 400, Strum needs to run it in fewer than 48.5 seconds. For an automatic qualification, he would need to run it in fewer than 47.25 seconds.
Other top-placing men include: senior John Torsey, who won second in the 100, clocking 11.19 seconds; sophomore Mike Eldredge, who earned second in the 110 hurdles, clocking 15.92 seconds; junior Jared Forell, who placed second in the 400 hurdles with a time of 58.16; senior Gabe Haberly, who earned second in the pole vault with a height of 4.26 meters; junior Josh Lovell, who jumped 1.93 meters in the high jump capturing second place; and junior Clint Moore, who snagged second in the discus, throwing 42.98 meters.
The women did just as well in the event.
Freshman Misty Corwin, in her first outdoor collegiate meet and recovering from an injury, earned the gold in the 400, clocking 1:01.49.
“I didn’t run the best,” she said. “The cold didn’t help any.”
Corwin said she hopes to lower her 400 down to about 58 seconds, though the provisional qualifying time for the championships is 57.50 seconds; 55.90 seconds is required to qualify.
“It was a really close competition, though,” she said. “I only beat the girl who got second place by 1/100 of a second, and my roommate was right behind her.”
Also for the women, junior Marci Klimek broke a school record and qualified provisionally for the NCAA D-III championship in the 10,000 distance race, with a time of 36:21.82. Her time broke the 20-year-old standard of 37:14.20 set by Angela Thatcher in 1989. Sophomore Chelsea Machida earned first in the women’s high jump with a mark of 1.52 meters. Sophomore Brooke Carstensen flew to a height of 3.35 meters in the pole vault, winning the event. Freshman Kelly Marineau placed second in the javelin, throwing 40.16 meters.
Both teams won their respective 4×100 relay squads, with the men clocking 42.64 and the women clocking 50.85.