Colleen Slattery, Contributing Writer
This past Saturday presented a new and welcome change to the University of Dallas men’s and women’s track and field teams: sunshine and warm weather. The teams traveled to Texas A&M-Commerce to compete at the East Texas Invitational against teams from Tarleton State, UT-Tyler, Southwestern Christian University, Centenary College, UT-Arlington and Texas A&M-Commerce in their last regular season meet.
The running events began with the steeplechase, a 3000-meter race with multiple hurdles and a water jump. Junior Mary Jones and freshman Emma Polefko competed in the event for the first time ever. Jones ran a strong race to finish in a time of 13:45, and Polefko finished the course in a time of 14:16. The duo claimed second and third place, respectively.
The team’s reigning field event star, Antonella Escarfullery, had a successful day as usual. Escarfullery placed second in the high jump with a jump of 1.47 meters, and fourth in the javelin throw with a distance of 20.98 meters, a season best.
The men had a successful day as well, starting with the steeplechase. Another newcomer to the event, freshman Austin Strain, ran the race in a time of 11:27, taking sixth place overall.
Sophomore Garret Gustafson also delivered an impressive performance. Gustafson threw 41.9 meters in the javelin competition, placing him fifth out of the field of nine throwers. He also high-jumped 1.67 meters, taking second place.
Senior Clinton Heyer continued his recent dominance in the 800-meter run, running an impressive time of 1:59 and placing third overall.
These next two weeks of training will be crucial for the men and women Crusaders, as they gear up for the SCAC meet at Trinity University in San Antonio on April 26 and 27. They have shown impressive versatility thus far and are, after a whole season of preparation, ready for the ultimate competition.