Lane’s men and women’s track teams began their 2014 campaign with their annual home meet, the Lane Preview, on March 14 and 15.
Many of the Titans competed in the meet under the “unattached” tag, meaning that they were allowed to compete, but any points they scored would not count towards the Titans’ team score.
Lane head coach Grady O’Connor said this was because he wanted to save the eligibility of any athletes who might choose to redshirt later in the season.
Also, if an athlete were to compete wearing a Titans jersey during the Lane preview, and then become academically ineligible during spring term, they would lose an entire year of eligibility after competing in just one meet.
Five schools joined Lane at the preview — Willamette University, Northwestern Christian University, Southern Oregon University, Southwestern Oregon Community College and New Hope Christian College all competed alongside Lane — as well as members of the UO and OSU Running Clubs.
“Great competition,” O’Connor said. “I think it was just the right sized meet to open up with.”
In total, eight Titans won individual events: six on the women’s side, and two on the men’s.
Sophomore All-American throwers Leah Wilson and Maddy Seaman started the Titans off on the right foot with two big first-place finishes on the meet’s first day, which featured strictly throwing events.
Wilson won the hammer toss with a throw of 135’, and Seaman won the discus by nearly 6 feet. Sophomore Gabrielle Head also finished second in the javelin for the Titans to continue Lane’s first day success.
Freshman Kristine Dunn and sophomores Maculay Wilson and Jhazelle Ambus swept the 400-meter dash. Ambus ran unattached. Dunn placed first with a time of 0:58.39.
Dunn and Wilson also ran legs of the 4×400 meter relay. The Titans finished first. Freshman Laura Donaldson and Abi Wynn also ran in the long relay.
Sophomore Kara Hallock and Freshman Mackenzie Folkerts tied with a height of 5’3” to claim first in the high jump and Folkerts also placed fifth in the 100-meter hurdles, while Hallock finished third in the 400-meter hurdles.
Freshman Caleb Buzzas finished second in the long jump with a leap of 22’09.75”, and fellow Titans Diego Gonzales and Alex Sattley finished second and third respectively.
Sattley, who also finished fourth in the long jump, played on the Titans basketball squad during the winter and was competing in his first meet in nearly 18 months.
“It’s been hard (training) just because everybody’s in a routine that I’m not in yet, but I know that in a couple of weeks I should be one of the best ones out here,” Sattley said.
Freshman Nicole Maurmann won her heat in the 1,500-meter dash with a time of 4:55.46, finishing seventh overall.
“She ran a 17-second PR. We certainly can’t complain about that,” Titans distance coach Mile Blackmore said. “We came up with a race plan and she ran it, and still actually had a lot left afterwards.”
Freshman Jonathan Cornish won the 3,000-meter with a personal-best time of 8:48.19, and did so in dramatic fashion. Trailing with 100 meters to go, he relied on a late surge to narrowly kick past runner-up the UO Running Club’s Joachim Krauth.
“My coach told me just to hang back — just to relax,” Cornish said. “Then, with about three laps left, just take the lead and don’t hold anything back.”
Titans freshman Dakarai Hightower claimed the other Lane men’s victory in the high jump with a leap of 7’00.50”, which was 4 inches higher than the runner-up.