Sixteen varsity track members competed at KU Relays on April 22 and 23, a track meet that invites the top competitors from schools all over the Midwest.
“KU is a big deal to even get accepted to so I feel like a lot of people go in with relatively low expectations for how they’re going to place,” said senior Tess Iler, who ran the 800 and the 1600 at KU. “It’s cool though because a lot of people rose up to the occasion and ran faster than they’ve ever run before. It’s also only halfway through the season so even with these really good times we still have a lot of time to get better.”
Even though Iler was seeded 30th, she placed first in her heat of the 800 and got fifth overall.
“The announcer guy was like, ‘These next three sections of girls’ 800s are something special, we have many elite times entered here today,’ and I was just like ‘crap I’m gonna get last,’” Iler said. “[But] going around the first lap I thought we were going really slow, so I started really picking it up going into the last lap and got up to second with the first girl in reach. After that I was just kind of like ‘okay I’ve been in this position too many times not to pass this girl I’ve got to get her,’ and somehow ended up catching her and winning [the heat].”
The girls’ 4×100 relay team, consisting of sophomore Katie MacAdam, freshman Destiny Ray, senior Sarah Rankin and sophomore Jessie Stindt, placed first and broke the school record of 36 years by 0.17 seconds.
“In sprinting, you may not think 0.17 seconds is a lot, but like every time you cut off like 0.01 seconds you’re happy, so next time we’re just gonna keep moving forward and hopefully we can break it again,” MacAdam said. “[Breaking the record] felt really good because at our last meet we actually got disqualified, we had a bad handoff, so it was just really good coming back from that and knowing that you can come back stronger afterwards.”
In addition, junior Jack Young got fourth place in the 2000-meter steeplechase and Stindt placed second in the triple jump.