Six individual and team school records were set during the first meet of the track and field season at the Principia Relays Jan. 27-28.
The men’s 4×200 team set a school record time of 1:34.80, which was good for fourth out of eight teams. Caleb Clemons, Damon Fowler, Jordan Kaden and Brandyn Robinson comprised the team.
“They are great teammates,” Kaden said. “They help me in workouts and we push each other a lot.”
Kaden said the team was put together at the last minute. He said he thought the team would do well because all four were good runners.
“We worked on handoffs a couple of times, and we just went out and did it,” Kaden said. “We weren’t really expecting to get a record because we just threw a team together hoping to get a good time.”
Kaden was among the individual record setters, when he set a school record in the men’s 300-meter dash. Kaden’s 36.77 second time was fourth out of 51 runners in the event.
This was only the second time Kaden competed in the 300-meter dash.
“I’ve been working all year because last year I didn’t really get enough warm up time between races,” Kaden said. “So this year I was really focused. I wanted to hit it this year.”
Head coach Daniel Graber said Kaden had been working hard to improve his endurance under the guidance of assistant coach Nick Niehaus.
“That 300-meter record was probably one of our better indoor records and he broke it by quite a bit,” Graber said. “It shows me that he is in very good, early-season form.”
Freshman James York was another Gorlok record setter in the weight throw. He threw 13.03 meters, which was ninth out of 22 participants.
“He is a smaller guy and very quick in the ring,” Graber said. “He will excel in the hammer throw outdoors.”
On the women’s side, sophomore Colleen Coday and junior sprinter Meghan Illig set individual school records in the high jump and the 300-meter dash.
“They definitely have the ability, but they are improving because they have bought into the training that their event coaches have asked them to commit to,” Graber said. “Both have gained a lot of confidence over the last year and you can see that on meet day.”
Coday said she did not think she would do well in the high jump because she was recovering from a hip flexor injury. She finished in sixth place at 1.52 meter.
“I hurt it in practice,” Coday said. “I have been in physical therapy for it a couple of days, so I just winged it.”
Illig was part of the women’s 1600-meter team that included Jakara Davidson-Brooks, Brittney Griffin and Meredith Sowers. The 1600-meter sprint medley team set a school record with a finish of 4:36.38.
“That was good because Brittney, Jakara, and Meredith are all freshman,” Coday said. “Meg’s a junior. So, it’s really impressive they did that in the first meet.”
Graber said the team has trained very hard to prepare for the 2017 season. He said athletes not only put a lot of time in practice, but in the weight room as well.
“You really have to love the sport to be willing to invest that amount of time into it,” Graber said. “Our athletes are willing to make their commitments to the team a very high priority in their lives.”