The Seattle University Track and Field team competed in their last meet of the year at the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Outdoor Championships in Lawrence, Kansas. The conference was held from May 9 to 12. Both the men’s and women’s team placed sixth overall.
The championships began with an impressive race from junior Olivia Stein in the women’s 10k. Stein ran a time of 35:51.29, landing her the gold. Senior Collin Olson followed by placing sixth in the men’s 10k with a time of 33:52.23.
Stein said she was thrilled when she realized that she had a chance to take home the gold.
“In the 10k, I could feel that I had a good shot at the win with about nine laps to go. I gave coach a thumbs up, but he told me to sit and stay patient. I started to break away from the pack with about six laps to remaining and just kept trying to separate myself from the competitors,” Stein said. “I didn’t realize how much of a gap I had on them until I entered the bell lap and heard the announcer say that second place was over 100 meters behind. When I crossed the finish, I flashed the Redhawk sign as I finished and then sat down on the track. Everything felt pretty surreal, and I couldn’t help but tear up a little.”
Stein has not only trained physically but has also studied different tactics to prepare.
“On top of training, I’ve dedicated a lot of time studying race tactics and listening to interviews with top collegiate and professional runners,” she said, adding to the reasons of her success.
On day three, the Seattle U athletes competed in the preliminaries. Michelle Newblom placed 14th in the women’s 100m hurdles. Newblom previously broke the school record for the hurdles days before traveling to Kansas for the championships. In the women’s preliminary 100m dash, senior Madison Lichter, sophomore Renee Soliman and sophomore Laurel Mack-Wilson placed 16th, 18th and 20th respectively.
Senior Keith Beasley placed eighth overall in the men’s preliminary 400m with a time of 50.74—qualifying for finals. Sophomore Siobhan Rubio finished fourth in the women’s 800m with an impressive time of 2:22.60, landing her a spot in the finals.
Both men and women excelled in the 3000m steeplechase. Junior Eli Boudouris placed fourth with a time of 9:36.66. Senior Johanna Erickson ran a time of 11:16.69 and took home bronze.
The following day, first-year Lance Skichko placed fourth overall in the final of the men’s 1500m, with a time of 4:04.15. Erickson placed sixth in the women’s 1500m. Rubio competed in the women’s 800m and placed fourth with a time of 2:20.65. Stein was able to pull off another impressive run, placing second in the women’s 5000m with a time of 17:32.86.
Senior Cam Peters wanted to make his team proud at this year’s championships. Peters is a high jumper, and although he did not earn a medal, Peters did set a season’s personal best.
“It took a while for me to be happy with my jumps. With the high jump, there is always another bar to clear, and when you eventually don’t succeed it is frustrating. Eventually, I realized how I did relative to the rest of the year and became proud of that,” Peters said.
Overall, both the men’s and women’s team rankings were sixth place. Head Coach Kelly Sullivan was very pleased with this season’s outcome.
“It was gratifying, seeing the athletes perform as well as they did. Seeing us compete and score in a variety of events and how they handled a first-year head coach and progressed a lot in a number of areas helped set them up to do so,” Coach Sullivan said.
Sullivan sees a very bright future for Seattle U’s Track and Field Team.
“I truly believe the sky’s the limit. We can do great things here with who we have coming back and will be bringing in this coming year. The next steps will be for us all to take what we’ve learned this year that can make us better and do those things consistently—which I trust this group and staff will be willing to do,” he said.
Stein also thinks this season was successful and hopes to see more positive results again next year.
“This past track season really proved to me that I have a gift, and I’m excited to see where I can go as a runner if I continue to work hard and stay excited. This summer I’m looking forward to putting in work to get ready for one last year as a Redhawk.”
Seattle U will be hosting the cross country conference championships next year, and Stein says it would mean the world if they could bring home the team title.
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