Pacific University’s Track and Field team has been hitting the athletic center for a solid month now.
Head Coach Tim Boyce said they have a lot to show for it.
“We hope to improve on last season,” Boyce said. “By all measures I believe we can do it.”
Boyce is excited about the assistant coaching staff he gets to work with.
Bridget Johnson coached cross country with Boyce in the fall and will be returning to train track athletes.
Dan Taylor will coach the throwing events and Nicole Irons will train athletes in the pole vault.
In addition to his assistant coaches, Boyce is relying on the leadership of his returning athletes.
On the women’s side these returners  include sprinters Kelli Aken and Nicole Smith, multi-event athlete Chloe Hallyburton, sprinter and hurdler Jenna Matsumoto and distance runner Jilinda Franklin.
On the men’s side, top returners include jumper Kelson Kawai, thrower and decathlete Aaron Koford, thrower Travis George, sprinter Vince Mull and hurdler and sprinter Michael Hunker. Top returning male athletes for the distance events are John Cushman, Joseph Deardorff and Dan Flora.
However, in a team of nearly 60 people, more than returning individuals can be expected to do well this season.
There are a large number of freshmen on the team, said Boyce. While gauging their potential seasons before the first meet can be difficult, Boyce said he already sees great potential for many in the new class to become rising stars.
The track team is looking forward to its first meet at Linfield College’s Maxwell Field for the Erik Anderson Memorial Icebreaker. The meet will be held on Friday, March 2-3 with the 10,000-meter race being held on Friday.
The track teams will continue their season from March into May and participate in a little over a dozen other meets. These meets including three home meets to be held at Pacific’s Lincoln Park Stadium.
The first of these is the Pacific Preview, held March 16 and 17 at the Lincoln Park Stadium. That is followed by the Pacific Lu’au Meet on April 14 held in conjunction with Pacific University’s 52nd annual Lu’au. The Pacific Twilight Meet will be held on April 27 and 28.
In terms of track and field, it looks like Pacific athletes have quite a season lined up for this term. In the meantime, the athletes will be busy preparing for another challenging yet exciting spring.

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