Track & field braces for busy weekend ahead

David Bassey
Staff Writer

The Minnesota State track & field team will be on the road in four cities in three days this weekend, as they travel from meets ranging from California to Wisconsin.

The first meet they’ll compete in will be the Bryan Clay Invitational on Friday and Saturday, hosted by Azusa Pacific University.

On those same days, the squad will then scamper off to the Mt. Sac Relays on Friday and Saturday, hosted by Mt. San Antonio College.

The Phil Esten Invitational will then take place on Saturday and Sunday, hosted by the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse, followed by the Long Beach Invite on Saturday hosted by Long Beach State.

The events that’ll take place include the 100 meter dash, 110 meter and 800 meter hurdles, hammer throw, high jump, triple jump, 400 meter relay and pole vault for both men and women.

The team has been on its toes as of late, despite the weather in Minnesota, keeping up to pace with a rigorous training schedule, while staying together as a family.

When asked about his expectations of the upcoming meets, senior sprinter Jaquez Wilson responded, “we’re expecting PRs (personal records), and better weather from here on out.”

Minnesota State will be sending 17 students out to California to compete. The rest will participate in a meet in La Crosse, WI.

“There will be lots of opportunities for us”, said senior sprinter Isaiah Pitchford, who expounded that the outdoor season had about four weeks remaining. “We’re about to perform at high levels throughout this weekend.”

Junior hurdler, and NSIC track and field outdoor athlete of the week, Sydne Davis, said this pertaining to the team’s mindset going into this weekend: “We’ve got to keep our mindset aggressive, although injuries can be fatal.”

Davis said this after a fatal ACL injury occurred to a fellow athlete from last week.

Senior sprinter Sophia Simonson, who also runs 400m hurdles, will be competing in the Phil Esten Invitational. She expressed her excitement for the meet saying, “my goal is to break 63 seconds running the 400m hurdles, and finish top three in conference”.

Outside the field, Ben Ojika, who was diagnosed with cancer, is now cancer-free and is currently undergoing rehab and physical therapy. He is expected to return in the near future in full strength and hopefully on the track.

Following the conclusion of the events this weekend, the Maverick team will look to compete in the Drake relays in Des Moines, Iowa on April 26. The team looks to finish the weekend with a strong performance at all their meets.

Photo: (Michelle Vlasak/MSU Reporter)

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