Track and field compete at historic GLVC Championship

The Truman State University track schedule looks different than many other sports. The teams have winter and spring seasons back-to-back leaving them without an off-season in between. 

The NCAA Div. II Indoor Championships take place March 11 and 12, and the first outdoor meet starts only two weeks later. 

The seasons themselves look much different as well. An outdoor GLVC Championship feels the same as any other spring meet, sophomore thrower Elaina Gorton said. 

“It’s out in the middle of nowhere —they put us in a random field,” Gorton said. “We are nowhere near anyone else, so it’s the same environment whether it’s your home meet, some random middle of the season or conference, just kind of feels the same.” 

Gorton said the indoor GLVC Championship is much more daunting. The meet is held at the University of Indianapolis in an indoor dome, Gorton said. 

“Everyone’s in one space, and the air is so dry you have to stay hydrated, but it’s an entirely different environment,” Gorton said. “I know last year, I was not prepared for that at all, there was nothing I could have done to prepare for that environment, so I at least think I have that on my side this year, that I know what I’m walking into.”

Athletes have to change their events depending on the season. For instance, a thrower could not throw a javelin or a hammer in an indoor dome, so they throw weights instead, Gorton said. 

It is strange to switch events between seasons, but the extra meets are beneficial to get in more practice, junior jumper Kelly Hoskins said. Hoskins pole vaults for the team, but without an indoor facility with a vault, he is limited to the triple jump.

For the GLVC Championships, the top 18 athletes in each event go on to compete, Gorton said.

The Bulldogs had a successful showing at the GLVC Championships with two conference champions and a new school record. 

Senior runner Sophie Oxandale won the first individual GLVC Championship since 2015 and the first running championship since 2011 with her 2:14:56 800-meter run. The run broke the school record, which Candle Hoskins has held since 2004. Oxandale also became the first Truman woman to win an indoor conference championship in the 800-meter since Mary Gray during 1983. 

Oxandale, junior sprinter Kendall Dascher, freshman runner Raina Baker and senior runner Alayna Pipkin’s 4:00:75 4×400 meter relay earned the Bulldogs their second conference championship. The last time the Bulldogs won the 4×400 championship was during 2003. 

The women’s team placed fifth with 48 points. The team has not placed this high since 2014, when they placed fifth as well. 

Junior thrower Jacob Morris finished fourth in shot put with a 16.65 meter throw, earning him a PR. The men’s team placed 10th with 22.5 points. 

Following the GLVC Championships is the NCAA Div. II Indoor Track & Field Championships, March 10 and 11.