It was a big weekend for the Missouri Western track and field team as they had 25 top five finishes at the Mule Relays in Warrensburg, Missouri.
There were three days of competition instead of the normal two because Thursday was dedicated to the pentathlon. Freshman Bayley Gilbert competed for the Griffons and placed 4th with a total score of 3145.
“She had a personal best in three or four events and had her personal best score in the pentathlon,” Litvinski said. “Now she is in contention to score at the conference championship with score she had.”
On Friday the women competed, and freshman Savannah Simmons made her presence felt in the 60m dash. Simmons placed 2nd and hit a provisional mark that sits high in the national ranks. Racing relaxed and smart was the key to her success.
“She came out, ran 7.77 in the prelims and won her race very relaxed,” Litvinski said. “Then, came out in finals and broke the school record with a 7.64, which also happened to be a provisional mark for us, currently sitting 23rd in the nation.”
“I just came across the finish line, turned around and saw my time, and I was like, yes!” Simmons said. “I didn’t know I was that far ahead of schedule and was like, wow!”
Simmons is still new to the 60m dash, and, although it’s similar to the 100m, the little details are even more important.
“It’s shorter and your blocks play a bigger part,” Simmons said. “If you don’t get out of the blocks in the 60m, that’s game over.”
Other standouts for the women included sophomore Hanna Williams winning the 400m (57.75), senior Julia Odir finished 2nd in the triple jump (11.37m), and sophomore Simone Baldeh finished 5th and set the school record in the weight throw with a throw of 14.92m.
The men competed on Saturday and had to follow the women’s excellent showing from the previous day. Freshman Hunter Scaggs continued his impressive freshman season, winning the high jump with a jump of 1.95m. Freshman Dre’Shaun Sanders finished 2nd in the 400m (50.64) and sophomore Riley Gorham finished 2nd in the 800m (1:59.93).
“We had three busy days of track and field,” Litvinski said. “It’s exciting for us to finish up high in any event this time of the year as we approach the conference championship. Something we work forward to the entire year. It’s what we train for.”
With Missouri Western being in the second season of having a track program, the sophomores can already see the improvements from a year ago.
“Right now, we are all looking good,” Gorham said. “We are all improving quite well. Better than last year.”
Missouri Western’s next opportunity to improve will be this weekend as they head to Maryville to compete in the Bearcat Invite.