Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Place 4th at Spartan Invitational in Dubuque

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Photo courtesy of Photo Bureau

Jaden Bilal (‘24) during the American Rivers Conference Track and Field Triangular on February 27, 2021.

The Luther College men’s and women’s track and field teams placed 4th overall in the Spartan Invitational Meet hosted by the University of Dubuque on April 9 and 10.  The women’s team finished with 85 aggregate points, and the men’s team finished with 86.50.  Overall, the University of Dubuque won the women’s competition with 232 aggregate points and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater won the men’s competition with 209.50 points.

For the Luther women, the lone first place finish came from Stephanie Lewis (‘23), who  won the 800 meters with a time of 2:27.16. Runner-up finishes came from Lauren Berg (‘22) in the 5000 meters (with a time of 18.36.97), Anna Goellner (‘24) in the 1500 meters (5:12.08), and Sophie Selenke (‘24) in the 3000 meter steeplechase (13:17.37). Additionally, Abby Faulk (‘23) and Mya Ploor (‘24) each finished in the top 10 for pole vault, both clearing the bar at 9-2 ¼ which is tied for ninth on Luther’s all-time outdoor records list.

Luther Women’s Track and Field Head Coach Yarrow Pasche was happy to have the opportunity to compete at the Spartan Invitational.

“So much of this season is shadowed by the knowledge that we did not have a season last year, that a sense of gratitude permeates each opportunity we have this season,” Pasche said. “It was fantastic to see the grit and joy expressed [by the Norse].”

On the men’s side, Cole Peters (‘23) finished second in the 400-meter dash, fourth in the high jump, and was a member of a 4×400 meter relay team with Leo Duffy (‘24), Ian Kelly (‘23), and Chance Downs (‘24) that placed first with a time of 3:31.34. Additionally, Kelly placed second in the 800 meters and Tom Altier (‘22) placed second in the 5000 meters with times of 1:57.67 and 14:56.56, respectively. Peters felt that he reached his goals at the meet, but also is looking to continuously improve as the season progresses.

“As the weather gets warmer and I get more time to train for the upcoming meets, I think I’ll be able to add a couple more inches to my high jump and knock a second or two off my 400 times,” Peters said. “For all of us on the team, having this meet to gauge where we’re at gives us all a glimpse at the potential we have.”

Many Luther runners, like Lewis and Peters, said their races were particularly challenging because of how the meet was disrupted by inclement weather. Athletes had to run their races through a rainstorm with temperatures in the 40s.

There were so many extra uncontrollable factors in that race given the weather,” Lewis said. “It was really important for me to focus on what I could control and run my race.”

Luther Men’s Track and Field Head Coach Steve Pasche commended his athletes for their performances in the face of tough conditions.

“Going into the meet, we were aware of the weather forecast; winds, rain throughout and low temperatures,” Pasche said. “Those are challenging conditions for any event in track and field, so rather [than] this being an opportunity for most folks to go after personal bests, it was a better opportunity for working through adverse conditions, focus on head-to-head competition, and get in a high-quality workout.”

The next scheduled competition for both teams will be on Saturday, April 17 at the Augustana College Meet of Champions in Rock Island, Illinois. Live stats will be available on the Luther athletics website.

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