Track and field gears up four outdoor season

posted in: Sports, Spring | 0

The Pacific University track and field team wrapped up the indoor season, in many school records were broken, and are now looking toward the outdoor season. 
The record breaking indoor season was highlighted by the junior throwers Karen Du and Josh Huffman. 
Du and Huffman continued to eclipse their old records each meet as Du now holds the record in women’s shot put at 13.18m and Huffman holds the men’s shot put record with a throw of 14.87m. 
Other Boxer records that fell during the indoor season were men’s pole vault, now held by sophomore Kolby Nikolaisen at 4.58m, women’s triple jump is now held by sophomore Jenna Hoiland at 10.84m and many other Boxer athletes etched their names in the record books. 
Now in his third year as head coach of the track and field team, Matt Lydum was pleased with the performance his team made during the indoor season. 
“We knew that the field events were very strong, but it was a pleasant surprise to see how the top athletes got together and had a really powerful indoor season,” Lydum said. 
Although the team did not qualify anyone for indoor nationals, Du came the closest finishing 29th in division III. Now looking forward to the outdoor season, Lydum has high expectations for this group of athletes. 
“I expect this group of Boxers to be fiercely competitive,” Lydum said. “They are tough athletes who don’t like to be beat. They’ve been training really hard and competing against division I competition during the indoor season, so they are very excited to compete against conference competition.”
The team opened their outdoor schedule this weekend March 2 and 3 at the Erik Anderson Icebreaker Meet at Linfield College. At the meet 22 Boxer athletes achieved Northwest Conference qualifying marks in 25 events. 
The highlight of the meet came from sophomore Aukai Kea who tallied a second place finish in javelin with a throw of 52.92m, which was eighth all-time in Pacific history. 
Lydum is excited to see many different athletes perform this spring season including what he calls a really solid group of young women sprinters and hurlers. 
“Audrey Lincoln and Kayla Richardson are among the top freshmen in the conference and it’ll be exciting to see them debut in outdoor track,” Lydum said. “There are great upperclassmen in the group as well, with senior hurdler Shannon Hammond, and junior sprinters Megan Eberhardt and Marissa Smith.”
For the men, Lydum highlighted distance runners and jumpers as his athletes to keep an eye out for this spring. 
“In endurance we have sophomore Nick Slenning and the freshmen twins Riley and Garrett Stewart who are really going to be tough in middle distances this year,” Lydum said. “Our men’s jumpers are also fun to watch because they are very competitive and exciting athletes who have been training really hard.”
The Boxers will be hosting their next meet at the Pacific Preview Saturday, March 10 at Hanson Stadium. 


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