Outdoor Track Preview

Coming off quite the successful indoor season, the Thunder track teams look forward to the return of warm weather — and a repeat of the winter’s success — as they move outside for their spring season. After a school-first conference title for the women, and a fourth place finish for the men, head coach Scott Bradley feels good about both teams.

“Both teams are where I hoped they’d be, if not ahead,” he explained. “But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to get better. There’s room to improve.”

The boys will likely lean heavily on their 4-by-400 meter relay team in the sprints since that group has qualified for nationals the past two years. Their distance team is still young — and relatively inexperienced — and they are thin in many of the field events, although they have some promising talent. Both sophomore Leif Van Grinsven (heptathlon) and junior Sola Olateju (triple jump) qualified for the national meet in the winter, and both counted upon to lead the team in the spring.

For the girls, the 4-by-400 will also likely be a strength, along with the 4-by-100. Field events will be a weakness for the girls, as they have only one thrower, but they have significantly more depth in the jumps, and will hope to make up some points there. Unlike the boys, the girls distance team should be a real strength, as senior Jordan Tuin returns for her fifth and final season, and will lead the women after qualifying for the national meet in the 3,000 meter steeplechase last season.

Bradley thinks the team can have as much success — if not more — than they did in the winter. Considering the team’s penchant for improving more than others in their conference between winter and spring, one has to like their chances.

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