The track and field team heads into its outdoor season on a high note, after concluding its indoor preseason with 13 broken records and several stand-out performers on the sprint and hurdle side.
Among the athletes to look out for in the upcoming outdoor season is senior Budweiser Hawkins, who is aiming to win his events in conference and proceed to nationals in both the long jump and the high jump.
Hawkins finished the indoor season with a broken high jump record and an equaled lifetime best in the long jump. For the first time in his collegiate career, Because he no longer has eligibility for basketball, Hawkins said he can focus on track and is feeling more rested and ready to peak at the right time.
Other standout performers in the indoor season were senior Daniel Wagner in the jumps and hurdles, junior Britta LaVoie and junior hurdler and sprinter Kelsey Lee.
Going into the outdoor season, the team is enjoying a smaller and more-supportive team dynamic as well as a more technique-focused coaching style.
Junior women’s sprint, jump and hurdle captain Mackenzie Huddleston said while the team is smaller than in years past, it is closer than its ever been and much more supportive between events at meets.
“We are pretty unique in that our distance runners cheer for our throwers and our throwers cheer for our sprinters,” Huddleston said. “We have just become so close this year.”
While it has taken time to adjust to the focus on technique, led by a new coaching staff, Hawkins said he is very thankful and has already seen a big improvement in his performance.
Hawkins added that the new coaching staff has been very supportive to the team and helpful from both a technique and motivation standpoint.
The team will continue its outdoor season March 20 at the Lewis & Clark Spring Open in Portland.