Though much of the spotlight was focused on the playoff football game this weekend, the North Dakota State Track and Field squad was also making noise, successfully completing its first indoor track meet on both Friday and Saturday.
With competition limited to the University of Mary and Minnesota State University-Moorhead, the team was grateful to get the first meet out of the way as well as giving some new team members experience in a smaller setting.
“It’s all about going out and competing right now. We’re still in a pretty heavy phase of training,” NDSU women’s head coach Stevie Miller said. “Some kids are gonna go out and have lifetime bests; some will struggle a little bit. It just kinda depends on how your body feels.”
Unlike most teams who tend to struggle early on and progress throughout their season, most of the NDSU student-athletes leaned toward performing well early.
However, men’s head coach Don Larson explained the team cannot stay satisfied with the early success.
“There have been some marks that have been particularly good — especially at this point in the season,” Larson said. “But then those kids need to continue to build on that. You don’t wanna be your best the first week of December.”
While plenty of the student-athletes found personal success, not all were quite as successful as junior thrower Alex Renner, who began his indoor season by breaking his own school record by almost 14 inches.
Not taking all of the credit, Renner finds encouragement from his coach.
“Coach (Justin) St. Clair does a great job preparing us and he gives us the confidence,” Renner said. “We just go out here with the idea that anything can happen. His program prepares us for anything.”
Teammate, and redshirt freshman Ryan Enerson won the heptathlon title Saturday morning. He finished with 4,390 points to rank seventh all-time at NDSU in the event. NDSU sophomore, Kevin Drotts, was runner-up with 4,752 points.
Although many of the NDSU student-athletes were successful in this meet, senior Lexy Boschee came in first claiming the pentathlon title with senior Ann Govig as the runner-up and freshman Maea as the third place winner for the women’s team.
Govig explained that this meet has been good to determine how the team is looking after their long fall training.
“Fall training is obviously really tough. Just from the base that we built, we had a pretty good first meet,” she said. “Our freshman came out and performed and there were a lot of PR’s across the board. I think we can only go up from here.”
After finding plenty of success on both the men’s and women’s sides, the team is prepared to go into the Christmas break and come back to prepare for the upcoming indoor meets in January.
Since both the men’s and women’s sides are ranked high in the Summit League, both are looking to prove themselves as the season goes forward.
“Until you really get down into your conference competition, you never really know,” Larson explained. “It’s about keeping kids healthy and getting kids to peak at the right time. You never know who will be the next guy or gal who is going to show up at the right time.”
With all of the success the teams found at this first meet, things are looking promising as they move deeper into its season.