Missouri Western track and field took home three first place finishes and set six new school records as they headed to Maryville over the weekend to compete in the Northwest open.
Head coach Yuriy Litvinski was very pleased with the effort, especially in Maryville this early in the season.
“It was a lot of excitement for us, for our program, for our kids, and for our coaching staff,” Litvinski said. “You want to have success early in the season.”
Sophomore Hanna Williams continued her early season success as she won the 600y with a time of 1:25.34. Williams was unsure of how fast she would run before the race, but her coach Litvinski was spot on.
“I asked coach what a good time was for the 600 and he put me down for 1:25,” Williams said. “That sounded fast to me, but coach told me I could do it. I ran it, looked at the time, and thought, wow I’m really surprised.”
Williams did not compete in her best event, the 400m dash, for the second straight meet. Williams time of 55.14 she ran earlier in the season, currently sits third in all of Division II. With such a fast mark hit early in the season, Litvinski has the ability to take a different approach with Williams to prepare her for later in the season.
We stepped away from her prime event.
“We are priming her to do really well at the MIAA championships first and foremost,” Litvinski said. “Second, we our priming her for NCAA Championships.”
To Williams the 600y and 800m are very similar races to her 400m, just longer.
“The 600 feels the same like after a 400m your dead and can’t feel your legs because they are numb,” Williams said. “Since we already ran the 400 and have a pretty could spot, it’s about conditioning and getting ready for bigger meets.”
Another standout was sophomore Jordan Garr who won the shotput with a throw of 56’ 1.25”. His throw was good enough for a provisional mark and her currently sits thirteenth in Divisor II.
“It shows me I’m prepared during the early part of the season,” Garr said. “This gives me a good starting point for trying to work my way up to the National level.”
Coach Litvinski is also very excited about Garr’s early success and knows he can throw even farther.
“He is just climbing up the ladder in the MIAA,” Litvinski said. “We are super excited to see where this season goes for him. He’s only going to be getting better. Our main goal for him this season is to make the National Championship which he is very capable of.”
Senior Julia Odir was the third and final winner for the Griffons. She won the women’s triple jump with a jump of 39′ 1.75″. This jump was also a school record.
Next up for the Griffons, they head to Pittsburg, Kansas, for the Pittsburg State Invitational on Jan. 26.