Pacific’s Lu’au weekend won’t be hard work exclusively for the people putting on the actual event. It’ll be hard work for the Pacific track and field team as well.
The track and field program is once again hosting the Pacific Lu’au meet to coincide with the festivities on April 13.
With a large influx and friends and family of Pacific students coming in, the meet will be the first home one of the season where the entire team will compete.
“The reason we started a meet on the day of Lu’au was because of the opportunities it presented our campus,” said Head Coach Tim Boyce.
The meet, which is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. for field events and 10 a.m. for running events, will face off Pacific with four prominent division rivals: Linfield, Lewis and Clark, Puget Sound and George Fox.
Pacific athletes who have highlighted the season so far are expected to do well once again at the Lu’au meet.
On the men’s side, Boyce made special note of Kelson Kawai, who leads the conference in the high jump with 6’8”, as well as sprinter Sean Valente, distance runners Tyler Shipley and Dan Flora, and the Men’s 4×4 Relay.
On the women’s side, Boyce highlighted sprinter Kelli Aken, distance runner Rachel Schreiber, and hurdler/jumper Chloe Hallyburton as some of those expected to do well.
The Lu’au meet will be followed by a meet at Lewis and Clark on April 20, which essentially serves as a last chance meet for Boxer athletes to qualify for the Northwest Conference meet.
“Not all of our athletes will neccesarily compete,” said Boyce of the meet at Lewis and Clark. “We may be resting some of our highest quality athletes.”
Boyce’s goal is to flesh out a few more competitors just shy of a qualifying time or mark, or to find athletes who work together well in competition.
“We’re still trying to figure out what four people should be on each relay, for example,” he elaborated.
He has reason to rest his top athletes. The two-day Northwest Conference meet, which will be held at Willamette University, is set for April 26 and 27, only two weekends after the Lu’au meet.
Boyce sees in this season an opportunity to outperform last year’s conference meet, a goal he thinks is readily attainable this year.
“On the men’s side, we could easily break into the top half of the conference,” he commented, comparing to last year when the men took sixth place of eight.
He also expects the women’s half of the team to finish stronger than last year, when they placed eighth in the conference.