ABOVE: Tim Testa, head track and field coach, encourages Bryce Grahn, business administration sophomore, in his race during the KCAC track championships. Grahn qualified for nationals in the mile as an “A” standard at Pittsburg State with a time of 4:13. (Taylor Rodriguez, Staff photographer)
By Mallory Graves
This weekend, at the KCAC Championships, in Maryville, Mo., there were two new school records and many personal records made.
Tim Testa, head track and field coach, said, “Our team competed really well at the KCAC Championships. We had two new school records, multiple All-KCAC Honors, and lots of all-time PRs, or personal records. Lots of good things happened.”
Josh Lewis, physical performance and sports studies junior, won the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.83, breaking the Southwestern College record and the conference record. Lewis was already qualified for nationals as “B” standard, but after this weekend, he qualified as “A” standard. He is ranked number seven in the NAIA.
Tomunci Whitfield, business senior, qualified for nationals in the 60-meter dash this weekend with a time of 6.93. He broke the school record in the 200-meter dash, which was actually his own record from last year, with a new and improved time of 21.99.
Bryce Grahn, business administration sophomore, qualified for nationals in the mile as an “A” standard at Pittsburg State with a time of 4:13. This weekend, he got third in the 5k, with a time of 15:32. “The energy and excitement for this conference meet was the highest it has ever been, and it was so much fun. I loved cheering and competing for my teammates,” said Grahn.
Kari Blattner, elementary education and business administration senior, said, “We had the best team spirit I have ever seen in the four years that I have been here. That is what lead to many personal records and new school records. Bryce and I may have not have had the best meet, but it was awesome to see our teammates come out, compete, and shine.”
Blattner got third in the mile with a time of 5:20. She already qualified for nationals in the mile at Pittsburg State with a time of 5:09 and in the 1K with a time of 3:02.
“The spirit and effort from the team was the best that we have had in a long time. I am very proud of the way we competed,” said Testa.
Members of the team will travel to South Dakota State University in Brownings, S.D. to compete at the NAIA Indoor National Championships Feb. 28-March 3.
Mallory Graves is a freshman majoring in communication. You may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.