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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Going the distance

Going+the+distance

Men’s track and field finds success in distance events

The Saint Joseph’s University men’s track and field team had a successful weekend at the Penn State National Open on Jan. 27-and 28. In addition to a multitude of personal records, the team finished with nine qualifying times in the IC4A, an end of season Northeast championship meet. Seven of the events were individual and two were relay. The squad also won two individual events outright.

One of these wins came from the distance medley relay, which consists of a 1200 meter leg, a 400 meter leg, an 800 meter leg, and a mile to finish the race off.

Head Coach Mike Glavin had nothing but praise for the team, especially junior Steve Thompson, who brought in the Hawks’ other first place win as the meet’s 800 meter open champion.

“As far as standout athletes, one of the ones that comes to mind is Steve Thompson,” Glavin said. “He ran the 800 leg on the distance medley last night that literally broke the race wide open. The only unfortunate part was he gave a pretty sizeable lead to our anchor leg. Our anchor leg had to run a mile at the end of the race alone, so he never had anyone to compete with.”

It seems that the core of the team lies within the team’s long sprinters through distance events.

“That’s where we focused a lot of our recruiting, a lot of our racing,” Glavin said. “It showed up today. We had IC4A qualifiers at 500 meter, at 800 meter, 1000 meter, and the mile, as well as the 4×4 and the distance medley. So everything from about 400 meter up through 5000 meter is where we really focus.”

The Hawks have a strong team this season with no outstanding areas in dire need of improvement. The major problem the team faces is with injuries and illness, as many runners have been dealing with these ailments since the fall semester.

“I think less than improve on, I think it’s to bring the people, like we’re missing [junior] David Henderson right now who is a 400 meter runner who can also run the 200…,” Glavin said. “And he got an injury that we think we’re going to get him back from, so that will improve that entire lower half of the 200, 400, and the 4×4…”

The 4×400 meter  relay shined this weekend as well, with the quartet improving their time by almost two and a half seconds, running 3:15.78. Last year, the Hawks took home the IC4A championship in this relay, a major accomplishment. Two of those four runners graduated in 2016, opening the door for new athletes to attempt to recreate the prior year’s championship.

“We want to make sure we put the relay back together this year, find some other guys to stand in… and see if we can make… not a one shot, one year… The goal is to really, really stand up,” Glavin said.

With the performance at this weekend’s Penn State National Open, it seems that the Hawks may very well be on their way to a repeat performance.

Glavin believes that there are many athletes to watch out for as the season progresses.

“Henderson, he’s back. Probably [junior] Dave Garton in the middle distance as well. And then as you move up into the longer stuff, we’ve got a couple of freshman running well and Dan Savage, who’s a senior, ran his fastest 3k ever. [senior] Jimmy Daniels ran his fastest 5k. I wouldn’t say we have any superstars, although [senior] Torey Doaty comes awfully close.”

Overall, the team had as many as 14 personal bests.

“We have a lot of kids who are pretty high quality, that if, if they continue to do what they’re doing now at the next level, I think we’re gonna have five or six guys that are looking pretty darn good,” Glavin said.

The track and field team returns to action Feb. 3-4 at the Giegengack Invitational in New Haven, CT.

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