Outdoor season kicks off with double relay wins

This spring, the Augustana women’s and men’s track and field teams are transitioning from indoor to outdoor track.

“Outdoor track is quite a bit different than indoor,” senior Austin Miller said. “You have to deal with wind, rain, cold temps and other variables.”

Both teams participated in the Drake Relays on Saturday, April 24 and claimed victory. Junior Patty Jo English, senior Sydney Mudgett, senior Meagan Schenk and senior Nicolette Schmidt had a time of 11:53.76 putting their time as No. 6 on Augustana’s all-time list. The distance men’s relay also had a victory with Evan Johnson, Ryan Sully, Tiegen Lindner and Miller having a time of 10:07.80.

“The coaching staff is very pleased with our results,” Head Coach Tracy Hellman said. “Our program is always excited for the excitement and challenge that the relays presented.”

English and Miller have been standouts on both teams. Last season, English placed fifth in the mile at the NCAA Championships with a time of 4:57.00 and was a part of the distance medley race placing fourth breaking a school record of 11:35.55.

“I have big goals for this outdoor season and cross country next fall,” said English. “I’m super excited to see what your women’s and men’s teams can do this outdoor season.”

On April 19, Miller earned NSIC track athlete of the week and earned All-American honors. Last season he ran a personal-best in the mile at a time of 4:06.86. He placed first in the NSIC championship in the 800 meter, mile and 1600 meter races.

“My goals for the outdoor season are to qualify for the NCAA championship in the 1500-meter and the 800-meter. I would also like to win NSIC titles in both of those races,” Miller said. “I have been doing some great workouts and have been able to stay injury free.”

Both the women’s and men’s teams will be competing at Minnesota State University, Mankato on May 8.