Track & field set the bar high

Men’s combine with Women’s teams for 22 wins in season-opening meet at home


Ivan Pomeroy

Junior Lucas Skaaland comes off the blocks on the back side of the track. He won his event, the triple jump, with a distance of 13.60 meters.

Ross Guyette, Assistant Sports Editor

The Karl Schlender Track and Field invitational on Saturday, January 23rd marked the beginning of the Warhawks’ season for 2020. Running, jumping and throwing at a high level last season set even higher expectations heading into the opening matchup.      

Many returning Warhawks had propelled themselves into top national rankings while new recruits form a strong unit from top to bottom. As one, this team will be a force to be seen.

“It’s our first week back, this is a big test for us and is a bigger test than we usually take on at this point of the season,” head coach Mike Johnson said.      

“We did better than expected and that is not a knock on our team. Our ceiling is much higher. Our entire team is contributing to the outcome of the meet and we saw that today.”

Among some of the winners were familiar faces in senior pole vaulter Zack Jasinski and junior thrower Dauston Martin for the mens. For the women, junior relay runner Jessie Braun and senior pole vaulter Madi Mcdonald were among the veteran leaders.

“Everyone thought differently and surprised themselves as our performance was great for this early in the season.  We have been training really well and even though this wasn’t the best meet we faced some good competition at this point in the season,” said senior long sprinter Ashley Tijerina. “Our team is great. We all train together and we have become close, we are all very proud of each other.”

Listening and watching this team closely propels the one to be in awe.  This early in the season there is a strong cohesive unit already in place.  Coaches and players are together as one looking forward to tackling hurdles that this team knows it can overcome.

Junior long jumper Thomas Kelly adding his energy to the mix. “The first meet for me is always somewhat of a benchmark for me so I know where I started and how we do our training here.”    

Adding that years of training has molded his play.” We are supposed to get better as the season goes on. So I am happy and excited for what I did today, but “looking for the future because there is more to come.”

There will be more to come when Whitewater defends its home turf Friday in the Leonard “SQUIG” Converse Invitational. The meet will see the Warhawks face tougher competition, including more in-conference schools. While the benchmark is set, it is up to the Warhawks to achieve the goals they’ve set this season.