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BU track team continues breaking school records

Story by Matulka, P.J.

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Track athletes capitalized on a much-needed turn of the weather and set two new school records at Baker University’s impromptu meet Monday.

Head coach Rob Mallinder said he threw a meet together after he learned the weather would not be inviting at the Wichita State University meet in which the team was scheduled to compete.

“I was pleasantly surprised with how well the meet went considering the shortness of the preparation time,” he said. “It was the first nice weather meet we’ve had for 23 days, which is pretty significant for a season that’s not very long.

“We have a whole team ready to do well, but the weather just hasn’t allowed us to do so.”

The meet took place on the Hey-Metzger track at Liston Stadium, where the temperature was a pleasant 76 degrees with a minor south wind.

Senior LaTasha Roberts, sophomore Katey Wegemer and freshmen Ashlee Miller and Kelsey Heckathorne comprised the 4×100- and 4×400-meter relay teams and earned school records for both events. The team qualified for the national meet in the 4×400 relay.

Even with the new school records, Roberts said there is still room for improvement.

“Our coaches train us to peak later on in the season, so there shouldn’t be any problems performing better and faster later on,” she said.

Other standouts included freshman Matthew James, who qualified for the national meet with a time of 55.15 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles and Miller who improved her national mark in the long jump.

James said he continues to set personal records for himself, but he left some in the tank Monday.

“(Improving) is not inconceivable because I shut down after my last hurdle instead of running all the way through,” he said.

Mallinder said he was pressed to fit every event in on Monday, so he decided to enter the distance runners in the Cardinal Invite hosted by William Jewell College.

The meet was held Saturday and was a substitute for the one at WSU.

“Across the board, I think everyone was about 30 seconds slower than I would have expected under ideal conditions,” Mallinder said. “Considering everything, I was very happy with how the 5,000 (meter) runners competed at William Jewell.”

Athletes will be competing in relay events today and Saturday at the Kansas Relays hosted by the University of Kansas.

Also competing in individual events are senior Brent Randle in the triple jump, junior Richie Bryant in the 100, junior Zach Atzeni in the 110 hurdles and Miller in the open 400, high jump and long jump.

Those athletes not competing at KU will be preparing for the Heart of America Athletic Conference Championship to be held at Baker April 27 and April 28.

James said he feels fortunate the conference meet is at home.

“For me personally, it gives me a lot more confidence,” James said. “I feel a lot more comfortable running on my own hurdles.”on Monday, so he decided to enter the distance runners in the Cardinal Invite hosted by William Jewell College.

The meet was held Saturday and was a substitute for the one at WSU.

“Across the board, I think everyone was about 30 seconds slower than I would have expected under ideal conditions,” Mallinder said. “Considering everything, I was very happy with how the 5,000 (meter) runners competed at William Jewell.”

Athletes will be competing in relay events today and Saturday at the Kansas Relays hosted by the University of Kansas.

Also competing in individual events are senior Brent Randle in the triple jump, junior Richie Bryant in the 100, junior Zach Atzeni in the 110 hurdles and Miller in the open 400, high jump and long jump.

Those athletes not competing at KU will be preparing for the Heart of America Athletic Conference Championship to be held at Baker April 27 and April 28.

James said he feels fortunate the conference meet is at home.

“For me personally, it gives me a lot more confidence,” James said. “I feel a lot more comfortable running on my own hurdles.”

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