Saturday, March 26 was nothing short of an interesting start for the Northwestern Red Raider track and field team. In their outdoor opener, the Raiders battled in two different meets, went up against cold temperatures and winds over thirty miles per hour and braved the fear of missing the meet in what ended up being engine trouble on their way to Storm Lake. Despite these conditions, both the men’s and women’s teams took home first place at the 2022 Buena Vista University Early Bird Invite. While the majority of the team competed lakeside, Coach Carrie Krohn and four Raiders made the trip to Wayne, Nebraska to compete in the 10,000-meter run at the Wayne State Outdoor Invite.
Eight men took home first-place finishes on the day. Senior Levi Cross led the distance crew in the 10,000, posting a time of 32:46.58. Junior James Gilbert had several top marks on the day, taking home a first-place finish in the 100m dash and the long jump. Gilbert also set meet records in both events. Freshman Kyler Vander Velde (200m dash), Wyatt Pryor (400m dash) and sophomore Bryce Paulsen (400m hurdles) also finished first on the track at BVU. In the field, sophomore Lorenzo Jones (triple jump), junior Ben Thelander (javelin) and senior Aaron Shepherd (high jump) claimed first-place points for the team. The men’s 4x400m relay closed the day in first place for the Raiders.
For the women, nine raiders claimed first-place finishes to start their outdoor season. Sophomore Katlyn Wiese was the lone Raider woman to compete in the 10,000m run and won her race in a time of 40:47.05. Junior Abby Clarke (400m hurdles) and freshman Kennedy Kramer (400m dash) both set meet records in their respective events. On the track, freshman Emma Zoet (100m hurdles), sophomore Tirzah Wittenberg (800m dash) and freshman Emma Haley (5,000m run) all finished first in their races. Freshmen Jacie Vander Waal (high jump) and Erin Hulberg (pole vault) won their events on their field as well. In setting the expectation for the men’s team, the women’s 4x400m relay also crossed the finish line first.
“It was a pretty cold meet, but I think we really put our best foot forward on Saturday,” said Wittenberg. “I’m excited for the rest of the season, to see what we can do in better conditions and to rise to our fullest potential as a team.”
The entire Red Raider Track and Field team will compete this Saturday, April 2 at the Dordt Outdoor Invite in Sioux Center with field events at 11 a.m. and running events beginning at 1 p.m.