By: Spencer Swoboda
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – No championship season. No problem. The Track and Field team finished up the last of two indoor exhibition meets, both at The Rochester Institute of Technology, with positive results heading into the outdoor season. The exhibition series provided two new school records and many other championship-quality performances.
Lauren McGrath’s 60-meter hurdle time made her part of NU track and field history. The 9.46-second effort got her the Valentine’s Day victory. She was able to improve her RIT Early February Invite second-place finish from Jan. 31 by a tenth of a second. McGrath will now head into the outdoor season looking to improve her 16.1-second 100-meter hurdle personal best time.
McGrath’s main motivator is something she didn’t quite have at this time last year.
“I think the biggest motivator was this past meet, winning and PR’ing, because I know last year I wasn’t really doing as well as planned, and it kind of carried over into the outdoor season,” McGrath said. “I think (this year) is looking good so far.”
Senior Morgan Palmer claimed a win over the field with a 43-feet, 1-inch mark in the shot put event. Her throw, which set a program record, avenged a second-place finish to Brockport State freshman Sarah Crockett, who had won two weeks prior. At that time, Palmer threw 40-feet, 11-inches, and the gain in distance paid off big in earning a victory two weeks later.
Junior Nora Klinowski was the standout for NU’s Distance Squad. She won the 3,000-meter race at the RIT Early February Invite, and then backed the performance up with a 1,500-meter race win the following weekend. On tired legs, she also earned a fourth-place finish in the 800-meter race after running the 1,500. The 3,000 (10:35) and 800 (2:27.76) times were both indoor personal bests.
Klinowski addressed what event brings the best out of her during the outdoor season.
“As I’m gaining more experience, I’m getting used to the 3,000 more along with other distance events,” Klinowski said. “But for me, it’s still the 1,500. The competition in the MAAC for that event is something I really look forward to.”
Another result featured a near-RIT-record performance from senior Akira Thornton. She ran 8.03 seconds in the 60-meter dash prelims. Thornton’s 8.06 in the 60m finals was good enough for second place, and the 8.03 time was her personal best.
With the indoor season now in the rearview mirror, the Track & Field team heads to the outdoor season. They start at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey, on Saturday, March 28.
*Times and records provided by Yen Timing and TFRRS
Picture courtesy of Niagara University Athletics