Solid season opener for UD track and field

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Photo courtesy of Hannah Green

On Saturday, Feb. 24, the University of Dallas track and field team had its first meet of the season in San Antonio at Trinity University.

This first meet was successful for the Crusaders, with both personal records (PR) and school records broken.

Two athletes to keep an eye out for throughout the season are freshman pole vaulters Anna Brunk and Hannah Green. These two Crusaders have formed quite the bond, and although they have no familial ties, they call themselves cousins. Brunk even described the competition between themselves as a “family rivalry.”

Green was the first to break the pole vault school record of 8 feet with a height of 8 feet 3 inches. Brunk proceeded to break this record on her jump when she reached a height of 8 feet 8 inches and finished fifth place overall.

“I’m super proud of them, and I’m super hopeful for their future,” Assistant Coach Japheth Cato said. “As long as they stick with it, I’m purely confident in their ability.”

When asked about his goals for Brunk and Green at the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC), Cato revealed his high hopes for the duo.

“I’m hoping for a top five finish [at SCAC],” Cato said.

Not only are Brunk and Green talented competitors, but they also have a unique ability to charm their competition.

“There was a [Texas Lutheran University (TLU)] cheering section for them doing handstand walks,” Head Coach Matt Barber said. “They would walk 10 meters, and … the TLU team would start cheering for the winner.”

Other standout field athletes included senior thrower Marcos Carmona, who finished 10th in the javelin and 11th in discus, freshman thrower Jules Oliveti, who placed ninth in shot put with a PR, and senior thrower Diana Hassink, who brought home a third place finish in shot put.

On the track, junior sprinter Prince Giadolor began on a good note with a fourth place finish in the 100 meter dash out of almost 30 competitors.

“This is the first year we’ve had [Giadolor] for a full season,” Barber said. “So that’s good for him to get wrapped in early.”

Freshman distance runner Joseph Kilmer also placed well finishing eighth in the 800 meters and 11th in the 1500 meters. Junior Kevin McGuirk had another top ten placement for the Crusaders, placing eighth in the 400 meters.

The Crusaders have a solid foundation to build on, and according to Barber, they are just ending phase two of a three-phase training schedule.

“Phase one [is] the base that you do before you get to season,” Barber said. “This month was our phase two, where we really started to speed up.”

The runners have yet to reach their full potential. Although there have already been high rankings throughout the team, even more is expected from them.

“The hardest workouts of the year, we haven’t gotten to yet,” Barber said. “A lot of them don’t have the endurance requisite for their event, whether it be a distance [runner] or sprinter.”

Assuming the team keeps up with it’s training schedule and reaches its peak by the time April comes, Barber says a top three placement at conference could be in the Crusaders’ future.

“There’s individual goals for everybody — everyone wants to PR, everyone wants to keep getting better individually — but if everything goes right, we want to get third [at SCAC],” Barber said.

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