Several track members reach nationals
The LCC men’s and women’s track and field teams have been battling tough competition, poor weather conditions and a packed schedule this season. Yet, the rankings wouldn’t show it.
Eight members of the teams are scheduled to appear in the national tournament, and both teams have had strong showings against tough universities including Michigan State.
LCC Head Coach Jim Robinson said he has an “excellent group of athletes this year.” Top runners include freshmen Claudia Baryo and Dillan Haviland, as well sophomore Emma Distelrath. All three ran cross country at LCC in the fall.
Both teams have a short season this spring, but that hasn’t stopped them from showing up to face the competition.
On Saturday, April 21, both teams competed in the AI Owens Classic at Grand Valley State University. Teams there included some of the top ones in the state in the NCAA conference.
Robinson said the Stars were winning heats, including two in the 800-meter race and one in the 100 race. Freshman Parker Rivard earned second place in a jump-off against a GVSU athlete.
This season, there is a smaller women’s team, but Robinson said he is proud of its success so far. For both teams, he said that while the times may not seem spectacular – it is important to consider the conditions they are running in.
Robinson said he has around five or six runners from the men’s cross country team that are competing at the highest level so far. He said it is encouraging to see their team chemistry, and the way they run together and push each to be better.
In cross country, Robinson always stresses how important “running together” is – so carrying that over to track and field is proving to be an added benefit.
An advantage for the team is that while track and field is a different sport than cross country, the endurance comes in handy this season. Many of the top runners, Robinson mentioned, have a perfect balance of good endurance as well as the speed needed for breaking records.
As they prepare for nationals, Robinson said it is important to understand the competition his runners will face compares favorably to a Big Ten championship meet.
Both teams will compete in the NJCAA meet on Friday, April 26 at Davenport University.