Viterbo Track and Field hopes to continue successful streak

Noah Nelson, Sports Editor

The Viterbo Track and Field team had a very successful indoor season and are building momentum for their outdoor season.  

On Dec. 3, the team’s first event was held at the Ripon Winter Open. The competition was tough, but the team came away with many stellar performances. It was the only event where the 300-meter run was held. Jalen Anderson had a team best 36.53 seconds.  

On Jan. 29, the athletes went to the UW Stout Warren Bowlus Open. Justin Moore and Greg Jenkins dominated the jumping events; both athletes placed first and second in the high and long jump. Jenkins won the high jump and tied Moore’s school record of 2.03 meters. Justin Moore won the long jump with 7 meters.  

During the NSAA Track and Field Indoor Championships in Brookings, S.D. on Feb. 20, both the Men’s and Women’s V-Hawks teams finished in third place. The men had four individuals finish in first place in their events. Jalen Anderson won the 200 meter dash with a time of 22.06 seconds. Drake Ingold placed first in the 5000 meters with a time of 15:49. Greg Jenkins won the high jump, and Justin Moore beat the NSAA Conference meet record on long jump. Moore jumped 7.23 meters, breaking the meet record by .14 meters.  

The women had a solid team event as well, having podium finishers in six events. Bailey Nuutinen tied the meet-best Pole Vault with a jump of 3.42 meters which propelled her to the National Tournament. Emma Johnson finished the pole vault event in third place; the Women’s Pole Vaulting crew is sixth in the nation. The Women’s 4×800 team also took home first place at the conference. The relay team, consisting of Tori Gerber, Jerica Mueller, Anya Hirsch, and Vanessa Thomas, finished the event with a 10:43. 

Two weeks later, on March 4, the qualifying Viterbo individuals traveled back to Brookings to compete at the National Tournament. Justin Moore placed fourth at Nationals in the long jump. His jump of 7.42 meters was easily the best for the V-Hawks this year, and it could not have come at a better time. Moore also tied Jenkins for seventh place in the high jump, as both individuals leaped 2.04 meters. These performances were enough for our athletes to make the Indoor All-American Team, and they have the whole outdoor season to improve.  

The indoor season has shown great promise for the V-Hawks, and the team hopes to continue their success under their new coach. Coach Kody Michaels is entering his first season for the track team, and he understands the role he plays in the team’s success. Michaels credits the athletes, saying, “They are all committed to perfecting their crafts each day and the support they have for each other is the foundation of everything they accomplish.” He also emphasized the team atmosphere, saying “We have an extremely strong culture here within our program and now because that has been established, we are able to have such remarkable success.” 

The outdoor season begins April 2 in Platteville, Wis., and the team will have 10 events spread across 18 competition days. The team has a lot to look forward to, and with the success from the indoor season, the track team could make waves once they compete outside.