Luther College Chips

Luther track and field faces weather-related hurdles

Morgan Sammons (‘18) at last year’s Luther-Wartburg dual meet.

Morgan Sammons (‘18) at last year’s Luther-Wartburg dual meet.

Annie Goodroad (‘19) I Luther Photo Bureau

Annie Goodroad (‘19) I Luther Photo Bureau

Morgan Sammons (‘18) at last year’s Luther-Wartburg dual meet.

Grace Onsrud, Staff Writer

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Luther Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Teams were set to compete at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois over spring break. However, it was canceled due to weather. This became a trend as the teams’ next two meets, the Norse relays and Gustavus were also canceled due to weather. 

Luther’s Men’s and Women’s teams of 95 total members were to compete against teams from a few other schools including Augustana. Luther’s team attended this event in the past, although only rarely, since it depends on where spring and Easter break fall in relation to the meet. The event was not rescheduled.

Distance runner Anna Ryden (‘18) said that while the team had been preparing for the event since the end of the indoor track season in February, their main goal is to work towards their best performance at the conference meet rather than training for specific meets. She was looking forward to the event as an opportunity to get a taste of what meets might be like this season.

“As a distance team, this meet was going to be viewed as more of a workout with most of the team running the 4×800, 4×400, or the steeplechase,” Ryden said.

Distance runner Ananda Easley (‘19) expressed similar feelings about the event as a way to practice for future events.

“While some of us were disappointed not to get the chance to race, we have the rest of the season ahead of us,” Easley said. “Ultimately, the goal is to peak at the end of the season, so I am glad it was the first meet that was cancelled and not one of the later ones.”

According to Easley, she focused on her personal goals at the meet rather than taking a competitive mindset in preparation, especially since it is early in the season and seen as a chance to practice while working towards the peak at the end of the season. Easley said that one of her events, the steeplechase, would have had specific challenges given the weather circumstances had the meet gone ahead.

“I was going to race in the steeplechase at [Augustana],” Easley said. “The steeple is a 3K race on the track with hurdles and a water pit. It’s my favorite event. But even I have to admit that the water pit didn’t sound too appealing in below-freezing temperatures. It would have made quite the story, though.”

Middle-distance runner Grant Sparstad (‘18) said that Luther’s team usually places somewhere in the middle at big early season events such as this one. According to Sparstad, one of the benefits of meets like this is that they often include teams from outside the Iowa Inter-Collegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC).

“These meets usually have teams from outside the IIAC  that we don’t get to race against all that often,” Sparstad said. “We have a pretty even distribution of meets held in Minnesota, Illinois, and Iowa. We usually face off against teams from the Midwest but we don’t see our main IIAC  competition until the outdoor conference championship.”

For now, the team will continue to work towards their best performance at the outdoor conference championship, with a few other meets before then. Their next meet, the Norse Relays, was also canceled due to weather. As a result, a portion of the team travled to Pella, Iowa to compete in a make-up meet, midweek. Then, a week later, the team’s meet at Gustavus College was canceled, which prompted another last minute make-up, this time at St. Mary’s University. However, with spring around the corner the track and field teams hope the cancelations are now behind them.

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