NW Track and Field

Sophomore Chloe Saenz navigates the bend of the 200-meter dash at the SBU Bearcat Invite April 2. Saenz finished ninth with a time of 25.14, .01 shy of her personal best.

After a busy schedule in the Sunshine State two weeks ago, and a rescheduled meet last weekend, the Northwest track and field team showed up and took care of business at the John Creer Classic April 23 in St. Charles, Missouri.

The Bearcats were originally supposed to be competing at the Midwest Classic in Emporia, Kansas, but that changed late into the week due to weather concerns.

Nonetheless, the ‘Cats showed up and showed out, capturing eight first-place finishes across multiple events on the day.

“(We did) pretty good overall,” coach Brandon Masters said. “We had quite a few personal bests and a lot of event wins, which is great. Though it was a long week due to travel and change, the kids seemed to like it. It was a good weekend.”

The women’s 4x100 meter relay — consisting of freshman Chloe Saenz, redshirt freshman Lexie Gilbert, redshirt freshman Kyah Luhring and redshirt freshman Ally Hammond — placed first in the event with a time 46.62 seconds for the second-fastest time in school history.

Saenz, running in her second and final event of the day, took home her second title, winning the 400-meter dash with a time of 56.93.

“It feels good,” Saenz said. “I still don’t feel as satisfied, because I feel like my 400 could be better, but first is always appreciated.”

Saenz said she feels she can run a better time, similar to the personal best she ran during the indoor track and field season (55.71).

Saenz added that the weather affects her ability to run, and it’s been something she’s had to overcome in the outdoor season.

Now, all eyes are on adjusting and getting prepared for the MIAA Championships May 6-8 in Emporia, Kansas.

“I’ve been seeing the trainer,” Saenz said. “And I’m taking the workouts seriously and trying to push myself to get better.”

Junior Jonathan Carter took the high jump title with a mark of 2.00 meters (6-6 3/4 inches) — his new personal best. This jump earned him an NCAA provisional mark.

“I felt really good,” Carter said. “It was a good day. It was kind of windy, but, overall, I felt pretty confident.”

Carter said he tweaked his knee a couple weeks ago but feels he’s at his best and ready for the conference championships.

“Overall, I feel like I’ve progressively been getting better and better over the year,” Carter said. “I know (Masters’) program is catered toward that, so that you can pop off and run in (the conference championships). So, I’m starting to see good results out of that.”

Sophomore Sarah Prickett took the women’s 100-meter hurdle title with a time of 14.07, while freshman Anna Gladstone finished second with a time of 15.03.

Senior R.J. Williams took first in the men’s 400 dash with a time of 49.34, and freshman Joel Dos Santos and redshirt freshman Prince Griffin took first (21.37) and second (21.51), respectively, in the men’s 200.

Sophomore Addison Long, sophomore Josie Zeiger and junior Addie Palser took first (37.75 meters), second (34.86 meters) and third (34.69 meters) in women’s javelin.

“We’re on track,” Masters said. “We’re real close to where I think we need to be. We’re missing a couple people due to injury… but both the men and women look solid.”

Most of the Northwest track and field team will travel to the Rock Chalk Classic April 30 in Lawrence, Kansas, while another portion of the team will compete in the Drake Relays April 28-29 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Masters said the most important thing the team can do this close to MIAA Championships is to maintain a healthy diet, get plenty of sleep and hydrate.

“We’ve done the work,” Masters said. “We’re keeping everybody healthy and sharpening the blade — getting a little bit better.”

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