By Andrew Preston
For the second consecutive year five Trojan Indoor Track and Field athletes competed at the Armory Track Invitational in New York City.
“The Armory is one of the most revered places to get to run in for indoor track in the United States. It’s a very storied place. This is a big deal meet, dominated by Division-I schools. A portion of the meet was actually broadcasted on NBC,” said head coach, Austin Selby.
Junior, long distance runner, Brandon Laws highlighted the weekend for the Trojans as he set a new school and Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) record in the 3000 Meter Run with a time of 8:27.03.
“It felt great to get that record today. It means I am improving. It means my training is going well. It means I am developing as a college athlete,” said Laws.
Laws performance was fast enough for 16th overall in the event which was almost entirely filled with premier Division-I competition.
“I always have a positive mindset towards any race. I know my training, and I know how talented I am. I have the upmost confidence in myself in any race. I was going up against big schools like Texas, Oklahoma, and Ohio State, so I’m happy with my performance,” said Laws.
Laws broke the previous G-MAC record held by Matt Brooker of Cedarville by nearly 8 seconds. Brooker ran the event in 8:35.68.
“Honestly going into the race I had no idea what the G-MAC record was at the time. I had no intentions on breaking the record. Throughout the whole race I felt pretty smooth, it didn’t feel hard or easy, it felt effortless,” said Laws.
Laws held the second best 3000 Meter Run time in G-MAC history, going into the meet, before eclipsing his old personal best of 8:37.01.
“He has looked very good for a long time now so it was nice to kind of see it pay off,” said Selby, now in his fourth season with the team.
Senior, Ben Moroney provided another top performance for the Trojans in the 5000 Meter Run with a time of 15:11.21.
Moroney improved upon his 13th place finish in the event last year, placing 10th overall for the Trojans in 2017.
Senior, Biz Mclendon also competed in the 5000 Meter Run. Mclendon placed 20th overall in the women’s race with a time of 19:04.05.
Teammate Caroline Hampton ran alongside Mclendon in the 5000 Meter run, but was unable to finish the race due to an official error.
“It’s unfortunate, but it’s something that happens,” said Selby.
The junior was on pace to finish the race as normal, but was incorrectly instructed she only had one lap remaining.
“In the 5K they typically provide lap counters to help the athletes keep track of how many laps they have left. Her lap counter messed up, telling her she only had one more lap to go. She kicked it her final lap and when she crossed the line she actually had one more lap to finish,” said Selby.
On Saturday, senior, Logan Rodgers ran the men’s one mile in 4:40, a time that could have been better according to Selby. Rodgers was competing in his first race since September.
“We wanted him to go out there and get into the competition. We wanted him to gain some confidence coming off an injury, obviously his time could have been better, but it was his first race back. I think he did pretty well,” said Selby.
Selby said it is a goal of his to bring his teams back to the Armory meet, but his athletes have to earn it.
“We come to this meet to try and get our runners into the National Championship. It’s a meet the athletes have to earn to be in. We have qualifying standards they have to meet. Throughout the year they have to work hard to get the chance to run here,” said Selby. “Over the summer we reevaluate the schedule. We are looking at other options still, but we will definitely be back in the future at some point.”
The Trojans Indoor Track and Field teams are back in action next Saturday, Feb. 11th as they travel to Birmingham, Alabama to compete in the Samford Invitational.
For complete meet results click here.