Track finishes 5th overall at SCAC Championships

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Senior Kevin McGuirk gets set up at the starting line. Photo courtesy of UD Athletics.

This past weekend, the University of Dallas men and women’s track team competed at the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Championships hosted by Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.

“We had a really good conference meet on both halves of the team,” said senior Kevin McGuirk. “More or less everyone had a personal record or a season’s best in their respective events. But more than anything else we had a lot of fun.”

On the men’s side, the Crusaders placed fifth overall tallying a total of 25 points which put them just above Schreiner University and Johnson & Wales University. Texas Lutheran University (TLU) took home first place with a total score of 236 points, Trinity University came in second with 190 points, Colorado finished in third with 101 points, and just above Dallas coming in fourth place was Southwestern University with 51 points. This win for TLU men’s track team was their third consecutive SCAC men’s championship victory.

On the women’s side, Dallas also finished in 5th place by recording 17 points which put them in front of Schreiner and Johnson & Wales. Trinity won their fifth consecutive championship on the women’s side by finishing with 233 points. TLU came in second with 168, Colorado College in third with 122, and Southwestern finished ahead Dallas with 70 points.

Dallas had several standout performances from both squads. On the men’s side, McGuirk secured 19 points for Dallas. He secured the school’s first gold medal in three seasons as he won the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 54.84 seconds to break the school record for the fifth time this season.

“Getting the gold medal in the 400 hurdles was awesome,” said McGuirk. “I’ve been fortunate to have a couple of great hurdle coaches the last three years in Coach Logan Griffith and Coach Marlon Baugh who I never would have been able to accomplish this feat without.  But while winning this medal is special to me, what means more is that I joined my friends and former teammates, Prince Giadolor and Diana Hassink, as UD track and field athletes who have won a conference championship.”

Not only did McGuirk do well in the 400 meter hurdles, but he also won bronze in the javelin throw in which he recorded a personal best mark of 48.90 meters. The Men’s 4×100-meter relay team which consisted of Rashid Coombs, McGuirk, Nat Kajiwara and Isaiah Hayes placed fourth with a time of 45:58 seconds,which was a season-best. The Men’s 4×400-meter relay team led by Coombs, Tomas DePetris, McGuirk and Hayes also placed fourth for a season-best time of 3:31.21.

“Everyone on the 4×400 team had a great day, but particularly Rashid and Tomas,” commented McGuirk. “Rashid ran a 23.20 in the 200 meter, in spite of having horrible blocks and also with missing a lot of practices. Once Tomas gains more experience he is going to be dangerous.”

On the women’s side for Dallas, Anna Wilgenbusch once again had a standout day by winning silver in the 10,000-meter run with a time of 41:34.27.

“Placing second in the 10k felt like a huge victory,” said Wilgenbusch. “Partly because it shows that the training this season payed off, but also because the race itself was so tough. I fought for 2nd place, especially in the last 200 meters of the race.”

Hannah Green also obtained hardware for the Crusaders by winning bronze in the pole vault with a jump of 3.02 meters.

“It feels really good to be able to get out there and score points for the team,” said Green. “Medaling two seasons in a row and winning third this season was great, but it only motivates me more to work hard for the gold next season.”

After a year of numerous successes, the SCAC Championships concluded the season for track. The track team is still very young and shows a lot of promise for the future. McGuirk commented on the season, concluding,

“We have a great group of athletes on this team and by conference is when everything really seems to come together, which makes it really sad when the next day the season is over and we do not get to see each other in practice anymore, but it is all worth it for that one moment.”

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