UTM has an official track team this semester for the first time in 15 years, and it is already leaving its footprint in UTM athletics history.
The track team started its latest debut during the Jan. 13-15 weekend at the Vanderbilt Commodore Invitational. At this event, several school records were broken and many runners beat their personal-bests. Notably, UTM senior Ann Asipan broke the program’s previous 5k record of 18:25.4 set in 2003 with a time of 16:54.47. During the men’s 5k, freshman Edwin Kurgat also beat a previous program record by more than 32 seconds. Both athletes finished second overall in their respective races.
Other athletes who beat previous school records include freshmen Ryan Ford in the men’s 3k and Kara Martin in the mile run. Runners who surpassed their personal-best records include freshman Marcos Macias and Kara Martin. Moreover, freshman Jasmine Pitcher beat a team-best time of 8.27 seconds in the 60-meter race.
Peter Dalton, Cross County and Track coach, seemed happy with the weekend’s results and optimistic about the team’s hard work in the future.
“It is nice to finally say that track is officially back,” said Dalton to the Sports Information department. “While this was a great starting point for our reintroduced program, we still have a lot of work to do. With that being said, I am excited for what the future holds for the Skyhawks.”
The track team continued their successful streak at the John Craft Invite at Eastern Illinois University over the January 22nd weekend.
At this event, the woman’s Distance Medley Relay (DMR) was won by the UTM team of Emma Edmonds, Pitcher, Martin, and Asipan with a time of 12:20.27. This win also broke the school record for this event set in 1998. The men’s DMR team consisted of Leonel Perez, Jonathan Conley, Ford, and Rogers and was completed in a record-breaking time of 10:32.64.
Both Ford and Rogers also broke the program’s previous mile time record with times of 4:22.83 and 4:21.97 respectively. Rogers now ranks as the program’s leader in the mile event.
Other records that were broken at the John Craft Invite include the women’s 5k by Asipan, the men’s 3k by Kurgat, and the women’s 600-meter run by Agok Ayuen. Kara Martin, Amelia Martin, and Marcos Marcias all set personal-best records in their 3k events.
Coach Dalton was proud of the team’s fast-paced progress in such a short amount of time.
“In just one short week we can already see the progression starting to happen for the entire team,” said Dalton to the Sports Information department. “We are certainly moving in a positive direction.”
The Skyhawks will compete again in the upcoming weeks at the Don Denoon Invite in Illinois on Saturday, February 4th.