Runners highlight Bayou Bengal track meet

Jonathan Rhodes

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Freshman Sophie Huegel competing in the 60 meter hurdles. Jonathan Rhodes/The Lion's Roar

The track and field team showcased its speed and stamina at the Carl Maddox Field House in the LSU Bayou Bengal meet by placing first in five competitions.

Head Coach Corey Mistretta liked what he saw from the team.

“It was really good today,” said Mistretta. “We knew that last week we were knocking some dust off, and this week they are coming out and doing really good. We had a couple of personal bests, which is really good. It’s nice to see the kids are competing, and with a few weeks before conference, hopefully, we can keep improving.”

Sophomore Grant O’Callaghan won the mile run once again as he did at the McNeese Indoor II finishing with a personal best. Freshman Adam Cortez took the 3000-meter run by finishing with a new career-best.

Junior Tajh Lewis finished in first place in the 800 meters followed by his teammate freshman Jonathan Respress. Freshman Anthony Cordero finished in second place in the mile run and in the 3000-meter run.

Both the Lions and Lady Lions 4×400 relay teams finished in first place. The Lion “B” relay team finished in second behind the “C” team. This is the second consecutive first place finish for the Lady Lions relay team.

Mistretta encouraged his athletes to work their hardest for this meet.

“The biggest goal for us was just to compete,” said Mistretta. “We felt last week, especially the players are so young, that they were nervous going into their first time ever competing in college, and they were a little rusty coming back from the Christmas break. I told them to just compete and trust the training that we are doing and we will see what is happening, and that is what we saw.”

Distance Coach Rocky Capello explained how the distance runners are preparing for the meets each week leading up to the conference meet.

“We are just coming out of base work so mostly stamina and barely any speed training,” said Capello. “We are just trying to get our endurance up so that when it is time to run that championship in three weeks, they will put in a little speed at the end, and hopefully, we will have some personal records. Everything is going to plan. If we stay healthy and finish the workouts, I think we will be in good shape.”

Capello has his athletes focus on one meet at a time and tells them to take advantage of each of their opportunities.

“Every meet is another chance to hit a personal record, and they understand that,” said Capello. “Even though we are in base training, all of our girls in the mile run got a personal record, and all of the guys in the mile run got a personal record. This is the first time they have run the mile all season. When you do this in the first mile indoor, that gives you an idea of where you are going to be in the outdoor season in April. They see that path, and they see those progressions. If they do what they are supposed to do, they will have huge personal records, and that is the goal.”

The track and field team will head to Birmingham, Alabama, for the Samford Open on Feb. 9 and 10.

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