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Track and field invitational proves to be record-breaking as they look to conference play

Agne Lukoseviciute ‘21 successfully performs the weight toss.
Agne Lukoseviciute ‘21 successfully performs the weight toss.

The indoor track and field teams have gotten off to a stellar start this season. Last Saturday, the women’s team won the Cornell College Hilltop Invitational while the men’s team came in third place. Agne Lukoseviciute ’21 broke the school record in the weight throw for the second time with a toss of 57-¾. 

Coach Jeff Pedersen notes the importance of individualized training plans in developing successful track and field athletes. “Each event group is a little bit different, each person is a little bit different. … We’ll have other folks who know an event pretty well but they haven’t been training very regularly and so it’s kind of like getting back in the flow. Then we’ll have folks that are learning an event for the first time, so trying to find different cues and different parts of the technique to focus on each week is what we’re trying to do.” 

When asked about breaking the school record, Lukoseviciute said, “It wasn’t so surprising because during practice I was going a lot farther than my previous records.” Lukoseviciute had been “working really hard at hammer throw, and the work really started to transfer over into to weight throw,” she said. “That’s how I was able to do it.” 

Pedersen said that the energy going into this season is good. The team “lost a couple of pretty talented seniors,” he said, “but a majority of the team from last year was returning this year and we finished on a pretty high note at outdoor conference last year. So because of that energy, plus the good cross-country season we were hoping to move up a place in the standings at the indoor and outdoor conference meets.”  

Lukoseviciute agrees that though the team is young, they feel cohesive and have good energy. “The team is pretty young overall, so it’s kind of nice seeing everyone come together,” she said. 

First year Rachel Bottum also competed well last weekend. She explains that the added number of people in the 400 and 800 events help with the energy and output. “This year the group is a little bit bigger,” she said. “I think definitely having people to train with … motivates me a ton, especially just going out for a long run where you’re going at a pace where you can hold a conversation.” 

The team is excited about last weekend’s meet but their main focus is on getting ready for conference. “It was really nice to win this meet last weekend and for the men to finish third,” said Pedersen. “But really, it’s all building up to the indoor conference championship here at the end of the month and then starting over and building towards the outdoor championship in May.” 

Lukoseviciute believes the team is getting ready for conference, though the practice definitely pays off at meets, she said. “I think, overall, it’s just that we work hard throughout the week and sometimes the weekend meets becomes a matter of how well the training went during the week. We are not trying to peak or do well for these meets. We’re trying to focus on conference in the beginning.” 

The team appreciates Grinnell’s facilities at home games, as well as friends and family who come out to watch, according to Pedersen. “Our facility is the best one we compete in, so it is nice to have so many home meets for us this year,” he said. “Of course it is nice to compete in front of friends and family if they are at the meet, so I think they all kind of get excited for our home meets.” 

This Saturday, track and field continues their season with a home meet at 11 a.m. 

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