The Augustana men’s and women’s track teams finished out their indoor season on a high note with two top-five placings at the NSIC championship meet on Feb. 22 and 23 in Mankato, Minnesota.
The women’s team finished the meet strong, earning 111 points and a third-place ranking. The men took home fifth place after racking up a total of 58 points.
“I thought that we performed our best at that weekend,” said head coach Tracy Hellman. “You want to peak at the right time and I thought our teams peaked at the right time with the indoor championships.”
Senior Olivia Montez Brown performed well for the team, winning the pentathlon with a score of 3,712, her best point total of the year, and earning a spot at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships and All-Region Honors. She also placed fourth in 60m hurdles with a time of 8.72 and first in the long jump with a distance of 5.73m.
In total, Montez Brown accumulated 25 points at the NSIC Championships, the high point total for the event.
Callie DeWitt also received All-Region Honors for participating in the 60m dash. She previously broke the school record in the event and was the former NSIC champion, but was disqualified at this year’s NSIC meet for a false start.
Mackenzie Kelly and Carly Rahn also earned honors for participating in the 3000m and the 800m, respectively. Kelly ran a personal best time of 9:51.65 and Rahn earned a time of 2:15.19.
“Going in on the women’s side, we knew we could be pretty competitive, top three going in,” Rahn said. “We had sights on potentially winning, but we finished third and we were still happy with that performance.”
After placing fifth last year, the men were hoping to move their way up in the results, but ended up keeping their spot with a score of 58.
Paul Meloche led the men, finishing third-place in the 60m hurtles, receiving All-Region Honors and qualifying for the NCAA championship with a time of 8.02, just one hundredth away from the school record.
Josh Barrows also received honors for finishing second in the 800 meter run with a time of 1:55.89.
“I think that we went in hoping for a higher finish than we had,” said Barrows. “Last year we finished fifth and naturally the team wants to do better than the year before.”
Both Montez Brown and Meloche will travel to the NCAA National Championships, which will take place on March 8-9 at the PSU Indoor Event Center in Pittsburg, Kansas.
The team is now setting its sights on the outdoor track season which will start when the team travels to Maryville, Miss on April 5 and 6 for the Northwest Missouri State meet.
“We obviously are always striving to do better and perform better and the indoor season is always a great launching place for the outdoor season,” said Rahn. “So I think we had some really strong performances this weekend and we’re really happy with how we performed, but I think we’re even more excited for the outdoor season and that is really where our training is coming through and what our training is geared towards.”