Women’s track & field look to stay competitive in outdoor season


Photo: James Kirby

by Cole Poots, Staff Reporter

Despite a lackluster start to the season, the women’s track and field team is looking to improve in the outdoor season.

With outdoor practices already underway, head coach Dave Cleveland is hoping to see the team excel and show the progress made in the indoor season.  

“The indoor season is definitely a short season,” Cleveland said. “We always want to do well at the end of February, but the ultimate goal is to compete hard in May.”

Cleveland said the women’s team is improving and getting stronger during practice and it’s translating at every meet.

“I’m excited about our women’s team,” Cleveland said. “We have improved a lot from a year ago. We have a lot more scoring opportunities and it’s allowing us to become a little bit more well-rounded as a team.”

Cleveland said the transition from indoor to outdoor is almost like a completely different sport as more distance and new throwing events come into the picture.

“The whole dynamic changes,” Cleveland said. “The team has been prepping all year for the outdoor season, always training with May in mind.”

Junior Mackenzie James, who runs sprints for the Storm, said the team is getting better each meet and thinks the progress will show during the outdoor season.

“We want to try and set new PRs for each week,” James said. “I think everyone wants to set new PRs each week and better our relay times moving forward.”

James said one positive about the team is how hard they work day in and day out. Now it’s all about transferring that energy and focus onto the field.

“We see strides at practice each week of us getting better,” James said.

Katelyn Mangold, a freshman distance runner, also emphasized how the women’s track and field team is looking to shave time off their relays.

“Our sprinters had some PRs at the conference meet,” Mangold said. “It’s not always easy to shave time off sprints, so we’re pretty excited to run the 4×100 outdoors.”

The women’s team hasn’t seen action since the IIAC Indoor Championships that took place Feb. 23-24 in Pella.

The first day of the Indoor Championships began with a strong performance, led by senior Audrey LoVan, who tied for third place in the pole vault, clearing 10-feet for her first all-conference honor in the event.

The Storm took fifth in the 4×200 relay and the distance medley relay, and finished the first day with 15th and 16th place finishes by James and Elizabeth Burgus in the 60 meter dash, respectively. Sarah Sandage took 14th in the 60 meter hurdles.

The indoor season concluded with an eighth place finish by senior Courtney Neuendorf in the mile, a seventh place finish in the 4×800 relay and another eighth place finish in the 4×400 relay. Kamryn Juni took home a 10th place finish in the high jump for the Storm.

The Storm will travel to Pella, again, for the start of the outdoor season on March 29-30.