The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Underclassmen lead way to record-breaking track and field meet

Paige Olowu ’22 claimed first place in the triple jump during the Luther Invitational Meet. Contributed by Ted Schultz

The Grinnell women’s track and field team had a highly successful third-place finish at the Luther Invitational Meet this past Saturday highlighted by record breaking performances by underclassmen Sadie Staker `24 and Eleanor Elliott-Rude `25 in their respective events. At Saturday’s invitational, Staker came in third place overall in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 9.84 seconds, the tenth fastest in Grinnell program history. Elliott-Rude, meanwhile, claimed first place overall in the 600-meter dash with a time of 1 minute 54.08 seconds. And again, in the long jump with a leap of 15 feet 5 inches, just shy of a top 10 jump in program history.  

What is even more impressive is that these stellar, record-breaking performances were achieved by underclassmen athletes. Although Staker and Elliott-Rude are relative newcomers to the program during both of their first full-length collegiate track seasons, they are already making names for themselves by shattering program records early in the season.  

Both athletes said that they were feeling somewhat nervous and overwhelmed going into the invite, especially with this being an indoor track meet and one of their first of the season. Elliott-Rude, a first-year athlete, said that she felt particularly overwhelmed before her own events: “It was definitely an adjustment going into the invite and the indoor season because that was not something I had much exposure to before and was something I had to get used to. There definitely were some competitive events and fast competition, but I would say that it turned out to be a good meet.” 

When asked about what may have helped her to achieve her record hurdles time, Staker partially attributed it to successfully conquering her nerves before her event: “In the past, I had gotten very nervous about my races beforehand, but at this one, I tried more than usual to stay calm, focused, and remember that I am ultimately running because this is fun for me. That helped quite a bit.”  

When asked the same question, Elliot-Rude attributed her successes, especially in the long jump, to her training regimen and the extra attention paid to honing her skills: “For me, the preparation was key. On top of the afternoon practices I was already going to, I have been jumping with the horizontal jumping crew in the mornings twice a week. The good coaching I got there and just putting in the extra time to manage jumping have definitely been helpful.”  

Staker felt that she had exceeded her own expectations on how she thought her performance in the hurdles would fare: “I had been determined to learn a new kind of hurdling technique and I was going to apply it here. Typically, I got about four steps in between each hurdle, but I have been working on cutting the between steps down to three. I actually did not entirely succeed in applying my new technique in this race, but I did manage to run faster and get a PR [personal record] so I’m happy about that.” 

Both athletes are looking forward to a bright future for the Grinnell Women’s Track and Field programs with upcoming meets this season, such as Grinnell’s own Darren Young Invitational this Saturday, Feb. 12, at the Bear Athletic Center’s Fieldhouse, and are excited to watch the rest of their team grow and improve with further practice, mutual support, and competition in the meets to come.  

“I’m definitely pretty excited for our home meet this weekend and for us finishing the rest of the season out strong to go into the outdoor season and just, y’know, have fun with the rest of our season,” Elliott-Rude said. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *