After winning the Iowa Conference title this past weekend, the Wartburg Track & Field teams now have their eyes set on the National Championships next week.
Each of the titles were special to the teams in a different way. For the women’s team, it is their 18th straight Iowa Conference Outdoor Championship while it was the first for the men’s team in the past three years. Head coach Marcus Newsom was very happy with how his teams performed at the conference meet.
“It was a true team championship, on both the men’s and women’s side,” Newsom said. “I believe in being diversified in championships, not just having one group win it for you, and this was a true team performance.”
The Outdoor championships come after a disappointing finish for both teams in the Indoor season. Dailen Folkedahl said winning the outdoor title was a great feeling.
“It was a really big accomplishment to win after not winning the Indoor championship. We really redefined what our goals were and worked hard to make sure we came out on top,” Folkedahl said.
Junior Eli Kaczinski was the individual champion in both the 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter and he said the biggest key to performing well at the national level is going to start with the Last Chance Meet and getting more people qualified.
To do that, Kaczinski said it is going to take more than just being physically ready.
“It’s about the mental game as well, you have to relax, refocus and realize anything can happen out there,” Kaczinski said.
The Last Chance Meet is the final opportunity for Wartburg to send more participants to the NCAA Championships, which begin May 25. Folkedahl said the team is focusing on perfecting some of the little things such as handoffs, but are still focused on setting new personal bests come competition time.
Kaczinski agreed with Folkedahl, saying the men’s team took some time after Indoor to talk with coaches, reevaluate their approach and get the fire going in everyone.
Newsom believes if his team can perform at the level they have shown all season, they will be in great shape and put themselves in a position to bring another title back to Waverly.
“It’s all about getting to that final day, and if we can do that with our athletes. We put ourselves in a great position to do, what is always the goal, bring home another championship,” Newsom said.
Updates on National Qualifiers, info from Wartburg Athletics
200 Teylor Jones
800 Taylor Officer
5000 Ashlyn Bagge
10,000 Ashlyn Bagge
100 hurdles Courtney Sowle
400 hurdles Aubree Taylor
Shot put Sam Holtz
Discus Victoria Kapnisis
Heptatlon Courtney Sowle
4×100 (Wartburg has had All-American finishes for the last 12 straight years. Jones was a member of the fourth-place relay last year.)
1) Becca Cherry SR 2) Dailen Folkedahl JR
3) Tessa Helmle SR 4) Teylor Jones SO
4×400 (This relay has had All-American finishes in 12 of the last 13 years. Duehr & Folkedahl were members of the sixth-place relay last year.)
1) Dailen Folkedahl JR 2) Belle Tyynismaa FR
3) Teylor Jones SO 4) Betsy Duehr JR
10,000m run Eli Kaczinski (Wartburg seeks its first All-American since 2009 in this event.)