Redhawk Track Standouts are Shattering Records


Headshot of Seattle University Track athlete, Lucas Milne

Lucas Milne wasn’t supposed to be a collegiate runner.

“I actually wanted to go to college for soccer,” Milne, a fourth-year environmental studies major said. “But it was probably at the end of my junior year of high school that I realized I could go somewhere with track.”

Milne ended up enrolling at Seattle University where he has quickly becomea multi-event athlete on the school’s track and field team. It was Jan. 31 at the Dempsey Center that he etched his name into the record books. At the start of the two-day University of Washington invitational, the senior would sprint his way into Redhawk history.

Milne ran the 60 meter hurdles in a jaw-dropping time of 8.64 seconds, 0.11 seconds faster than d’Andre Benjamin’s previous record time which had stood for 14 years.

“It was a long time coming,” Milne said. “I was working towards it my sophomore year, but came up just a little short. It was nice to finally get it.”

Milne wasn’t the only track athlete to break a school record this week. In Spokane, at the Feb. 4 Washington State Indoor Open and Invite, Tricht Jocelyn had a historic day, setting not one, but two top times. 

Jocelyn became a record-breaking athlete in the 60 meter (7.76 seconds) and 200 meter (25.31 seconds) disciplines . The previous 60 time, belonging to Alyssa Gonzales, had been a mere 0.03 seconds slower. The former school record for the 200 meter was held by Regie Grady with a time of 25.59 back in 2020. 

Jocelyn, who is pursuing a master’s degree in criminal justice, isn’t content with her place in Seattle U history. Immediately, she set her sights on bigger competition.

“I want to take this track thing pretty far,” Jocelyn said. “One day I do want to run for Haiti— for my country.”

To represent one’s country on an international scale is a tall task for any athlete. With a true winner’s mentality and the speed to hang with the best, you can bet on seeing Jocelyn possibly competing on the biggest stage that track has to offer.

The odds of either athlete finding any success were infinitesimally small. For one, track is one of the hardest sports to transition to in college. There are 617,583 male varsity track and field athletes competing in American high schools. Of those, just 1.6%, or roughly one in sixty, will continue to Division 1 (D1) athletics. The odds for women are almost equally low, at just 2.5%. 

Once a track star finally makes it to the D1 club, their success is far from guaranteed. Some estimates state that 33% of athletes will get injured, quit or get cut before the end of their senior seasons. Therefore, both athletes needed peak talent and discipline to get to where they are today. 

If that weren’t enough, Jocelyn and Milne shattered these records despite taking almost a year away from their events. With the 2020 outdoor and 2021 indoor track seasons canceled due to COVID-19, not only were these athletes unable to compete but in many instances, safety precautions left them unable to train properly. 

Jocelyn explained that sprints were an especially big challenge.

“Getting back in the rhythm of running the 60 was a big difference,” Jocelyn said. “You have no room to mess up.”

The Track and Field coaching staff, consisting of head coach Kelly Sullivan and assistants Chad Pharis and Tony Monroe deserve credit for their creativity in a time where traditional training methods often proved impossible. Additionally, at a time when mental health crises are skyrocketing, supporting athletes through difficult circumstances has become even more important for the trio than before.

Coach Pharis has had to work overtime with athletes to remodel his training style in rapidly changing circumstances.

“We couldn’t do everything as normal here,” Pharis said. “We made lots of adjustments and pretty much threw the normal book away.”

The adjustments in question clearly worked. Jocelyn, Milne and this coaching staff have overcome unprecedented challenges to put up record breaking runs.

One of the last chances the pair will have to push their times further out of reach comes at the Feb. 11 Husky Invitational at the Dempsey Center. All eyes will be on Milne and Jocelyn, but neither are the type to shrink away when the spotlight shines brightest.