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The Scarlet & Black

Track teams train through snow, indoor season

Sachi Graber \’12 makes a successful pole vault attempt at 2.45m giving her a second place finish in the Dennis Young Indoor Track meet last Saturday in Storm Lake, IA. – Ben Brewer

By Max Calenberg 

While many Grinnellians have been indoors studying, or occasionally, going to the gym, dining hall or class, the Grinnell Track team has been doing all of this and running—a lot.

The Midwest Conference (MWC) Indoor Track season began when students returned from break and so far everything, including the return of Head Coach Will Freeman from sabbatical, has gone smoothly.

“It’s great to be back this year,” Freeman wrote in an e-mail. “Every team and season is different, and enjoyable for its own reasons. I really like the mix of athletes this year. While we have a mix of beginners to established top athletes, the team is still a close group.”

It’s a group that has gotten off to a great start, with the team touting some of the top runners in the MWC in a wide range of events. David Montgomery ’10 currently is ranked first in the MWC for both the mile and 3000 meters. Both Fonz Jenkins ’10 and Hugh Redford ’10 are ranked in the top 10 for pole vault, while Hannah Colter ’12 is ranked ninth in the 3000. In addition to the distance runners, Dylan Boucher ’12 and Scott Philips ’10 are ranked in the top 10 for the 55 meter dash, a change Montgomery is excited to see due to its bigger picture implications.

“You can’t win track meets with just distance people,” Montgomery said. “This year we really have a strong sprinting squad so hopefully that will pay off in the conference meet.”

Before Grinnell goes to the MWC Conference meet the weekend of Feb. 26, they have a double header this weekend—first going to the University of Dubuque on today and then the University of Northern Iowa tomorrow. Senior Captain Liza Brost ’10 knows not to put too much emphasis on the competitive aspect of indoor season, regardless of the meet, because it all sets up for the outdoor season.

“We have a really short indoor season since Winter Break is so long, so really we focus on getting in shape, getting fast,” Brost said.

That getting fast aspect is heavily reliant upon weight lifting, which for the women has been led by interim Coach Jeff Peterson who is covering for Evelyn Freeman while she is on sabbatical.

“[Peterson] has been leading us on some really intense weightlifting, we lift like four times a week, it’s crazy,” Brost said. “It is definitely going to benefit us, especially come outdoors doors when we starting running longer distances in the sprints.”

Grinnell will see a change in their indoor season next year when they move into the new athletic facility. Currently, they run in the PEC, which, according to Freeman, has an incredibly poor surface than can easily cause injury.

“We currently are very selective about what we do in the PEC due to the tight turn radius and the hard surface,” Freeman wrote. “It will make a huge difference in what we can do when we move across the street.”

Either way, the team can’t wait to make the move outside this season.

“Outside, we have our nicer track and the weather is like ten times better,” Andrew Hirakawa ’12 said.  “In terms of running, I like the events outside and it’s more of a team bonding experience.”

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