PLU sprinters and jumpers ready to get it (season) started
By Brandon Adam, Sports Writer
With their season starting today at Linfield, Pacific Lutheran’s track events for sprints, hurdles and distance running are showing promising depth this season. Athletes and coaching staff alike hope for an excellent season while placing high in conference.
"We’re gonna be strong," running coach Michael Waller said. "It depends how much depth we have."
The depth Waller was referring to is how many points each athlete can bring in. "I could win every race and lose conference if I don’t have depth," Waller said.
Returning athletes are enthusiastic to meet new personal records. Senior jumper and runner Joseph Mungai has his goals set.
"I’m looking forward to improving my high jump," Mungai said. Last season, Mungai’s record for high jump was 6’4".
Another returning athlete is sophomore sprinter and jumper Marqui Makupson, who said he wants to score even higher in the triple jump and sprints.
Makupson won the Northwest Conference triple-jump title last year, leaping 45-7 and 3/4 inches and finished fifth at the conference meet in the 100-meter with a time of 11.23 seconds
"I’m really excited for everything that’s coming, especially after a really great last season," Makuspon said.
Makupson said he feels like he is in for a strong season. He aims to triple jump 46 meters, long jump 22.6 meters, and run the 100-meter in 11 seconds flat.
Men’s hurdling is looking promising as well. "We should sweep," hurdling coach Faven Araya said. "My hurdlers should be at the top of the conference."
The hurdling prospects are seniors Jeffery Tolman and Dave Fisher. Tolman placed 25th in hurdlers in the previous conference with a time of 25.55.
Araya holds her hurdlers in high esteem and hopes to place high in conference. "I’m looking forward to doing better than the previous year," Araya said. "Our men hurdlers did exceptionally well last year."
Though the men’s roster is developed, the women’s side of the events lacks depth, mainly because of economic reasons and other commitments.
"A lot of the students that come out to the track are multi-sport athletes," head coach Heather Krier said. "Instead of coming out for track, they’re having to get jobs and internships."
Though the women’s roster is weak in numbers, Krier believes the remaining female athletes have tremendous potential. "The talent is still there," Krier said. "We have got quite a few freshmen on board."
Eight of the 20 women on the women’s roster are first years.