Track & Field finish season strong

by Tim Lone/Staff Writer

Both the women’s and men’s track teams completed the indoor season on a strong note by finishing second and third respectively at the IIAC Championships.

The women also had several athletes qualify for the NCAA Championships.

The athletes that qualified for the NCAA Championships were senior Sarah Hammel of Dorchester in the 800-meter run, junior Catie Ellingson of Indianola in the 800 and the 1,600, senior Lauren Bucklin in the 55-meter hurdles, and sophomore Kinsey Bak of Hinton in the high jump and pentathlon.

Bucklin, a Bondurant native, said the women put forth a strong effort to place well.

“Finishing second at the conference meet is outstanding,” Bucklin said. “Everyone worked together to score points for us and that’s what makes us a great team.”

Senior Marty Rounds, from Council Bluffs, said he is proud of the accomplishments throughout the indoor season, and the high finishes for the men and the women at the conference meet.

“It isn’t until after the conference meet when you look back at what we have done and are surprised at the results,” Rounds said. “Especially after this year. As an entire team we have never placed higher in the meet in over 10 years.

“Getting second on women’s and third on men’s is the best we could have accomplished. Especially when you are running your best times of the year it’s hard to find something to complain about.”

Senior Legrand Bien-Aime, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., said he was happy with the way the indoor season went for the team, but also said he didn’t perform up to his own expectations.

“For me personally I didn’t do well at all,” Bien-Aime said. “I’ve progressively been falling off and look to hopefully have a better season outdoors.”

Bucklin said the team’s strong finish in the indoor season will help propel them into the start of the outdoor season.

“A lot of athletes ended conference on a good note with personal records and season bests,” Bucklin said. “So it is always exciting to go into outdoor season on a good foot.”

Bucklin also added that getting a break between the two seasons also helps provide a little bit of a spark for the team.

“Most athletes have a few days off to rest and then they will be ready to get back after it,” Bucklin said. “The rest between indoor and outdoor really fires people up and helps strengthen us outdoors.”

Bien-Aime said he thinks the team might actually be stronger in the outdoor season, because they’ll be able to use all of their resources.”Due to lack of facilities indoor season becomes a prep course for outdoor,” Bien-Aime said. “So once outdoors starts we are able to really use all of our implements, such as do workouts on the track and practice handoffs.

“So I feel as if we will be stronger in just about every event because we are actually able to practice them and prepare.”

Rounds has high hopes for the team during the outdoor season.

“For outdoor, I hope we finish as well as we did indoor,” Rounds said. “But mainly I want more people to make it to Nationals, myself included. I’ve run in big meets before but Nationals is still holding out on me. It’s only a matter of time though.”