Track and field competes on two fronts

Freshman hurdler Sophia Huegel was second in the 100 meters hurdles with a time of in 14.82 seconds in Southern Miss Invitational. File Photo/The Lion's Roar

Senior pole vaulter Devin King highlighted the track and field team’s meets at the Texas Relays and Southern Miss Invitational last week.

King broke his personal and Southland Conference record by clearing a mark of 19 feet, 0.25 inches in Austin, Texas on Saturday, March 31. Head Coach Corey Mistretta gave his thoughts on King’s achievement of breaking the 19 feet mark and hopes he will get better as the season goes.

“This was a huge accomplishment of Devin and definitely a long time coming,” said Mistretta. “He has been working extremely hard and I am very happy that he was finally able to top the 19’ mark.  He will see this competition again in June at the National Championships. So, he has to continue to improve. I do not doubt that he will continue to work hard.”

In Texas Relays, junior throwers Adrian Williams and Stevon Crooks along with freshman thrower Charlotte Wissing delivered top-five finishes while sophomore thrower Ashley Davis came eighth in the shot put category.

“I am very happy with how all of our athletes competed at the Texas Relays,” said Mistretta. “We have to put our top athletes in these types of environments to prepare them for the championship season. The experience they earned going to a big meet like this, whether they hit personal marks they are happy with or not, is very valuable.”  

 The team was split to compete in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on the same weekend.

“Splitting our team is commonplace of us, so this was not a big issue,” said Mistretta. “Our philosophy is to put out athletes in the best possible position to be successful, and sometimes this means sending small groups to multiple meets in one weekend.”  

In Mississippi, senior middle distance runner Tajh Lewis and sophomore javelin thrower Alex Bertrand were victorious in their respective categories.

Mistretta discussed the meet in Mississippi and said he was pleased with sophomore distance runner Grant O’Callaghan’s performance at the meet.

“Going into spring break, the team was a little preoccupied,” said Mistretta. “However, they were able to perform very well in some of the events. This was a small meet with very little pressure and I am very happy with the outcome. Grant O'Callaghan probably had the biggest mark of the weekend with a three second personal best in the 1500 meters. Grant is going to be a very strong performer for us during our championship run.”

The team will compete in the Southeastern Strawberry Relays at home, which is scheduled for Saturday, April 14.  

“We are working very hard for to ensure the Strawberry Relays is going to be a success,” said Mistretta. “This is also an opportunity for our alumni to return home and we are always excited about having them around. There are twelve teams competing this year, and it should be an exciting meet.”