Knox track and field continued their abbreviated season in Dubuque, Iowa, last weekend, participating in the Loras College Open. It was a difficult meet, with strong competition from all over the area, from Monmouth to DuPage to Luther College, and the team looked to prove what it could do against such tough opponents.
“It was some outstanding competition,” said coach Dan Zierfuss. “It was incredibly windy, and discus and some running events were affected. Still, the team did outstanding.”
The meet was not scored teamwise, giving the athletes a chance to show what they could do individually. Many came through, dominating the competition. Senior Pam Bell came in second in the 200-meter dash, the high jump, and the long jump, putting her in great position for conference in two weeks. Sophomore distance runner Karen Brophy came in first in the 10K run and freshman Chloe Bohm came in fifth in the 400-meter dash.
“The team did real good,” said freshman sprinter Courtney Jude. “Our work is really paying off, we’re showing what we can do.”
Jude finished second in his heat at the competition and is showing promise despite this being his first season as a college runner. Fellow freshman Bill Schaefer ran well once again in the 400 meter hurdles, finishing second in his heat, continuing his acclimation to the college competition.
Senior record holder Tim Rairdon returned this week, getting his first taste of competition for the season. He ran well, notching eleventh in the 800 meter dash, and ninth in the 1500 meter dash. For a first start to the season, Rairdon looks to do big things come conference.
“Tim has really taken the tone set by the rest of the team,” said coach Patrick Irwin. “He is already running well, at the right time of year. He is consistent in his workouts, and he could break record this season.”
Rairdon already holds the school record for the 800 meter dash on the indoor track and is on the right path to grab it outdoors as well.
“He is about a second off the 800 record,” said Irwin. “If he can shave nine seconds off his 1500, he could have that too.”
Though this seems like a tall order for a sprinter, Irwin is confident in Rairdon’s abilities.
“With better weather, he can run better,” said his coach. “He let someone else be his wind blocker (at Loras) and that cost him some time on his finish.”
Irwin also pointed out that the competition at Loras, while good, was not quite what Rairdon enjoyed.
“He likes to have someone to chase, to let someone else take control, then chase them,” he said.
It is Rairdon’s last season as a track runner and capping it with a couple of records, as well as a win at conference, would be a great way to finish out the year.
Sophomore thrower Adam Kent, who already holds the school record for indoor weight throw, continued his pursuit of the outdoor hammer record on Saturday, finishing with a distance of 127 feet, two inches, five inches off the school record.
“The weather had an effect on Adam, I think,” said Zierfuss. “The wind would blow, and throw off his form in the circle a little bit, I noticed.”