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Norse hold 51st annual Norse Relays

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Sarah Holtz (‘20) triple jumping.

Sarah Holtz (‘20) triple jumping.

Katrina Meyer (‘19) | Chips

Katrina Meyer (‘19) | Chips

Sarah Holtz (‘20) triple jumping.

Shannon Baker, Staff Writer

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The Luther Track & Field team hosted the 51st annual Norse Relays Saturday on April 8 in Carlson Stadium. Luther College, University of Wisconsin-Superior, Bethany Lutheran College, University of Dubuque, University of Northwestern-St. Paul, and Luther alumni participated in the event. The women’s and men’s teams both finished second out of five teams.

Luther women finished the meet behind the University of Dubuque. Individual first-place finishers included Morgan Sammons (‘18) in the 400-meter hurdle event with a time of 1:12.27; Sarah Holtz (‘20) in the high jump at 5-0 1/4; Meredith Robinson (‘18) in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 12:42.22; the 4 x 400m relay team of Delaney Schurer (‘18), Shannon Baker (‘20), Taylor Schuring (‘20), and Marta Springer (‘19) with a time of 4:10.49; and the 1600m sprint medley of Schuring, Schurer, Springer, and Stephanie Murray (‘17) with a time of 4:20.06.

The men also finished second behind the University of Dubuque. Their performance included first-place finishes from Elijah Kane (‘18) in the javelin at 169-3; Cooper Nelson (‘17) in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 58.87; Isaac Jensen (‘17) in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10:11.75; the 4 x 800m relay team of Kyle Gilberg (‘19), Bret Powers (‘17), Collin Kern (‘20), and Andrew Millan (‘20) with a time of 8:08.31; the 4 x 1600m relay team of John Westby (‘17), Danny May (‘17), Erik Duethman (‘18), and Patrick Larson (‘17) with a time of 18:15.00; and the 1600m sprint medley team of Nana Asante-Apeautu (‘20), Maxwell Tapp (‘20), Noah Goetzke (‘20), and Kern with a time of 3:39.88. 

Having home support can be an incentive to perform well for the team, according to senior thrower and captain Jill Harstad (‘17).

“We’ve trained hard all of March to prepare for the outdoor season,” Harstad said. “We always look forward to competing at home, so I believe everyone took extra pride in their training leading up to Norse Relays to have the best possible performances in front of our home crowd.”

Aside from being the first home meet of the outdoor track season, the Norse Relays is a meet characterized by the return and involvement of former Luther track and field members. Assistant Track and Field Coach Austin Bauer (‘14) was excited to be a part of the long-standing tradition in the form of a Luther Alumni 4×1600 relay team. In an interview before the meet, Bauer expressed the importance of the Norse Relays for both current and past Luther athletes.

“[It is] special for the alumni to come back and for Luther students to see the much broader community of people who are still willing to compete and share their stories from their time at Luther,” Bauer said.

Katrina Meyer (‘19) | Chips
Elijah Kane (‘17) takes off from starting blocks.

Luther Distance runner Patrick Finnegan (‘18) enjoys sharing the Norse Relays experience with current team members and alumni.

“I get excited, especially when there are teammates that I’ve raced with in the past,” Finnegan said. “It gets me psyched because [the alumni] are usually pretty fast, but we’re all on the same team.”

In addition to the involvement of Luther alumni, the Norse Relays encourages the participation of other Luther sports teams in one particular event: the All-Sport Relay. In this 4×100-meter race, other Luther teams can form a relay squad and represent their respective sports through costumes or in the way they run the race. At the meet this past Saturday, Luther Wrestling and Luther Men’s Swim and Dive team participated in the All-Sport Relay. The wrestling team wore their uniforms and the swim team sported speedos, snorkels, and flippers on their hands and feet.

Finnegan believes the All-Sport Relay demonstrates camaraderie between the different teams.

“Everyone represents their sport and it is a bit of a shared experience in that way,” Finnegan said.

Prior to the meet, Bauer and the other coaches met with the distance, sprint, and field crew members to discuss progress and goals for the meet as well as the rest of the outdoor season. Based on the past couple of weeks, Bauer is optimistic about the rest of the season and hopes training will build success in future meets.

“We have been focusing on building off of each meet and getting experience and then using [that experience] as a stepping stone to get to the next competitive level,” Bauer said.

Luther’s next track and field competition will be the Meet of Champions at Augustana College, Rock Island, IL, on April 22.

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