The Rambler track and field squads started the 2012-2013 season strong at the Laker Early Bird Invitational on Nov. 30 in Allendale, Mich. In a blitz on the record books, five school indoor track records were broken, three on the men’s side and two on the women’s.
For the women, the record-breakers were freshman Rebecca Stearns in the 600 meter run and the 4×400 relay team comprised of sophomore Jade Kinney, senior Candice Carajohn, sophomore Anietra Butler and freshman Amber Davis.
After time trials earlier this season, the Lady Ramblers knew the records were ready to be broken.
“We had a time trial a month ago and my time broke [the record] then, so I knew I was going to break it,” Stearns said. “I felt a lot of pressure that I had to do it again, but I felt confident because I knew what I was doing.”
Identical records were broken on the men’s side with the addition of the 300m dash. Senior Declan Murray broke the 600m record while senior Matt Wetzel surpassed the mark in the 300m. The men’s 4×400 team of Murray, Wetzel, freshman Jake Mazanke and junior Bay Abbott broke the previous mark by two seconds clocking a time of 3:48.40.
Aside from breaking records, the Ramblers had a strong meet across the board.
Both Wetzel and freshman Chris Strup placed sixth and fifth, respectively, in the 60m dash, and junior Paul Yovanic placed second in the weight throw.
For the women, the field events tallied three top-four finishes, two in triple jump and one in the weight throw. Carajohn clinched the triple jump title with a jump of 11.87 meters followed by freshman Alexis
Ellis in second with a jump of 11.29. In the weight throw, sophomore Alison Szykowny finished fourth with a toss of 16.19 meters.
On the track for the women, several runners approached records. Jade Kinney was .07 seconds away from a school record in the 300m dash, and Butler was .01 seconds away from the 60m mark.
Both Stearns and Murray agree that this performance means good things are in store for the rest of the season.
“[This meet means] some pretty high goals as far as getting more people to the national meet,” Murray said. “I think if we all just do what we want to do and we all accomplish our personal goals, our team goal of winning [the] conference title will definitely be right there in our reach.”
The Ramblers continue their season Jan. 12, in Iowa City at the Iowa New Year’s Classic.