After a successful Bucknell Bison Open and Multi meet the weekend of Jan. 27, the men’s and women’s track and field teams headed to Haverford for the Seamus McElligott meet this past weekend. Some field athletes also traveled to Widener on Friday in addition to the Haverford meet.
Russell Speiden, a senior and All-American, ran an impressive 4:10.62 mile at the Bison Open and Multi. He was just shy of a personal best, but blew the other 41 competitors out of the water, running nearly six seconds faster than the second place finisher. He ran the distance medley relay this past weekend, which consists of a 1200 meter, a 400 meter, an 800 meter and a 1600 meter leg. Speiden ran the 1600 meter leg, which is slightly less than a mile.
The team had high expectations for this past weekend’s meet. “Our goal is to go to Nationals in the distance medley relay, so I guess me running the mile kind of carries over into that, because I run the final leg of that,” Speiden said.
Speiden and his teammates, junior Aaron Focht, senior Chris Niles and sophomore Matt Rever trained this week specifically for the relay that would hopefully take them to Nationals. They ran a 10:02.68, which is currently the fastest time in Division III this season. The distance medley relay team will have to wait until next weekend to see if it is enough, though, when more teams will run that event — potentially faster.
Kathryn Howser, a senior, specializes in the 800 and the 4×4 relay. She was the only runner to break 2.20 at the Bison Open and Multi, beating out 18 competitors from not only Division III, but also Division I and II teams.
Howser keeps the same mindset regardless of whom she is competing against. “We learn, ‘Yeah we’re Division III but that doesn’t mean we can’t compete with those from Division I and II,’” Howser said. “You have to throw yourself in there and not give yourself a reason why you shouldn’t be able to run with them.”
Prior to a knee injury her sophomore year, she ran her personal best, which was a 2.18. She’s been building ever since. “The 800 is very technical. You have to get out well and you can’t make a huge move too soon and then have nothing left,” Howser said.
The toughest part of the race for her is the third lap. She struggles because she still has halfway to go; she hasn’t quite reached that last lap. At this point she really tries to push herself. And by the fourth lap, “You find this second gear you didn’t know you had,” Howser said.
The only female thrower currently at Elizabethtown College is Eileen Kroszner. She throws the shot put and weight bag. She had a personal best in the weight bag throw at the Bison Open and Multi, improving her previous best by more than 12 feet. When asked about the sizeable increase she said, “It was basically a full year since I had thrown bag weight in a meet. So I definitely have gotten stronger from last year. I am definitely a lot more comfortable with the steps.”
She is just four feet shy of setting an Etown record, where she is currently ranked third. “That’s my main goal right now,” Kroszner said. “It’s definitely attainable.”
The track team will compete again this weekend, Feb. 11, at Bucknell University.