Track and field team smashes records

Julie Goldberg

The Wildcat track & field team set a record while competing at the Lake Superior Challenge on Saturday, Feb. 6.

The 4×400 relay team of senior Danielle Brzezinski, sophomore Kieren Becker, and freshmen Paige Dutcher and Shayla Huebner broke the school and facility record at College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn. The group clocked in at 4:01.65, 1.52 seconds faster than the previous school record of

“The most exciting performance was the 4×400 relay team,” head coach Jenny Ryan said. “It was an exciting end to the meet with the entire rest of the team and coaches spread around the entire track cheering for them.”

The 4×400 relay team finished 11 seconds faster than the second-place finisher.

“It was so exhilarating,” Brzezinski said. “I’ve never had so much adrenaline while running. It was definitely an experience I’ll never forget. Being a senior and having this accomplishment is amazing.”

Three Wildcats won individual titles at the meet. Huebner finished first in the 400-meter dash with a time of 59.38, freshman Yasmin Jelassi won in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.91, and freshman Jenna Long won in the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.63.

Freshman Michelle Juergen finished second in both the high jump and long jump. Jelassi, Dutcher and Becker captured second-place finishes in other events.

“It was overall a great day for the team,” Brzezinski said. “I still get goosebumps watching other girls excel in their races and events.”

The team will travel to Grand Valley State University to compete in The Big Meet on Friday, Feb. 12 and Saturday, Feb. 13.

The Big Meet will have up to 50 schools from Division II and Division III. Friday is the elite meet part in which the runners have to qualify to compete, and Saturday is the open part of the meet. The Wildcats will have some athletes competing on Friday and all competing on Saturday.

“To prepare, the team is focusing on some details to have our best performances,” Ryan said. “We are cutting back some on the volume and intensity of training to have some of our best events so far of the season. Tapering will allow the athletes to perform at a higher level in the next few weeks.”

The Wildcats are preparing for the GLIAC Indoor Championships, which are Feb. 27 and Feb. 28 in Tiffin, Ohio.

“We’re having a really good season so far,” Ryan said. “The team is really positive and working well together to support each other. We are looking forward to a great end to the season.”

Brzezinski added that the team is going into the GVSU meet with a positive attitude and confidence to push themselves.

“I can honestly say this will be an exciting senior year,” Brzezinski said. “With everyone getting personal records or a record almost every meet, we are ready for anything this season. I’m so grateful to be on this team with amazing runners.”