By Mallory Graves
The first indoor track and field meet of the semester is this Saturday, January 26th at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.
The athletes haven’t competed since December 8. That’s roughly a month and a half, with a majority of that being Christmas break.
“As of right now, the shape that people are in is a mystery. For any athlete, whether you are a runner, thrower, or jumper, race day never lies. I will be able to tell who worked out over the break and who did not,” said Tim Testa, track and field head coach.
Testa said, “I am excited to see my athletes prove their fitness. It is going to be a lot of fun.”
Two members of the team qualified for nationals last semester. Both have a good chance of earning All Americans in their individual events this year.
Kari Blattner, business administration and elementary education junior, has qualified to run the mile at nationals. She has set goals to run a sub-five minute mile and a sub-three minute 1000m. “It is hard to stay motivated in this cold weather, but you have to want to get better.” said Blattner.
Bryce Grahn, business administration sophomore, enjoys getting stronger as a team. “Hitting time goals, building culture, and building fitness is my favorite part of this sport,” said Grahn. He has qualified to run the mile at nationals. His aspirations for the indoor season include earning a couple of All American Honors as an individual.
For the team, Grahn hopes that they can qualify for a “DMR” relay, which is a distance medley relay. He says, “Doing the same thing over and over is very challenging. Excellence is very repetitive, very boring, and it is hard to stay fully engaged at all times.”
Testa said he hates race days. “On race days, it’s all up to the athlete. I can’t do anything to help them. I can’t switch pitchers like you could in a baseball or softball game, or I can’t call a timeout. All I can do is cheer for them, and watch them run in circles.”
Mallory Graves is a freshman majoring in communication. You may email her at Mallory.Graves@sckans.edu.