Indoor track season comes to a close

by Megan Stout

The Simpson track team competed in the Iowa Conference Indoor meet on Feb. 22 and 23 in Decorah.

The men placed seventh and the women finished ninth.

“This was definitely our best meet of the year. We had a lot of people set personal records, and everyone performed really well,” said head coach Tim Byers.

In particular, Byers noted the efforts of senior Sara Jensen and junior Tony Ekman.

“Sara did a great job for us, competing in the distance medley relay, the 4x200m relay, the 4x400m relay and in the 1000m and 1500m run. Tony ran in the distance medley relay, the 1500m run and the 1000m run, in addition to the 4x400m relay. As a whole, the men’s 4×400 ran really well,” said Byers.

Other members of the Storm track team that did well include senior Andrew Hoopes, who placed third in the pole vault, sophomore Clay Stoddard who got fourth in the pole vault and senior Becky Jolly set a school record of 8.49 seconds in the preliminaries of the 55 hurdles, and ended up getting fourth place.

Senior Lucas Carder was fourth in the high jump with a leap of 6-6, and had a season best in the long jump with a 21 ft. 2 1/2 in. leap and placed 10th.

Jeremy Keehn took sixth in the 200 hurdles, Jensen ran for sixth in the 1000m and the 1500m, Ekman got seventh in the 1000m and eighth in the 1500m, and junior Zach Allison took eighth in the 400m run.

On the men’s side, the 4×400 (Allison, Eric Karr, Keehn, Jeremy Mohwinkle) took third, the 4×200 (Ben Cox, Aaron Keiser, Karr, Mohwinkle) placed fourth, and the distance medley (Allison, junior Doug Besch, Ekman, freshman Mike Myers) got fourth place as well.

For the women, the distance medley relay (Jensen, junior Miriah Johnson, Lindsay Smith, junior Tracie Whitney) took sixth, the 4×200 (Jensen, Smith, Whitney, Jessica Carper) got eighth, and the 4×400 (Jensen, Smith, Whitney, Carper) also received eighth place.

“The conference is incredibly tough this year,” said Coach Byers. “There were 47 national qualifiers that came out of the IIAC. Wartburg, Central, and Loras have been known as ‘The Big 3’ in the conference as far as track is concerned, and we’re working to put Simpson back up at the top in the future.”

The athletes of the Simpson track team are excited about the Coach Byers’ team-building abilities.

“Our indoor reason went really well, and we improved a lot in comparison to past seasons,” said sophomore Clay Stoddard. “Coach Byers has really helped our program, and he has brought so much energy and enthusiasm to the team.”

This is Coach Byers’ inaugural year at Simpson as the head men’s and women’s track coach and assistant cross-country coach.

“Coach Byers always has confidence in us, and expects nothing less than our best,” said Whitney. “His coaching style is very interactive. He is always at practice, always having fun and is always pushing us to do our best. You can’t help but work hard for him.”