• Nina Arias

Track and field athletes rank nationally

Six Minot State University track & field athletes have been nationally ranked in their respective events.

After being shut down and training for months with no competition, Minot State’s track & field team has entered the new season with great marks. While most sports have been canceled, track & field has been allowed to compete within certain limitations.

Coaches received news of the team’s nationally ranked athletes on Feb. 2.

On the women’s side, Ashley Miller is ranked number one in the 300m, Abigail McGee is ninth in the 1000m, and Whitney Hanson is number nine in the 800m. On the men’s side, Lewis Cotterill is first in the 600m, Vincente Guereca is fifth in the 600m, and Jacob Jensen is 10th in the mile. These accomplishments are huge for the program and speak well of the athletes’ perseverance.

Hanson, a sophomore, expressed her excitement for the season after not being able to compete since last year.

“COVID really put into perspective how much us athletes should value our opportunity to compete,” she said. “It really has impacted my mindset going into each race because I remind myself that this is what all of the training we have been doing is for. I don’t want to waste a single race.”

This feeling is shared by many athletes on the track & field team.

“COVID has made a very interesting impact on training overall. We were going from getting ready to compete that week to going to the off-season. Now that we have a season, I am very excited to compete,” Jensen, a sophomore distance runner, said.

With all the good marks so early in the season, many runners are eager to make up for last year’s missed season.

Freshman mid-distance runner Guereca explained that he’s ready for the challenge and to get better.

“In the future, I hope to see my number four rank turn into number three, number two, or number one. I will continue to do what the coaches ask of me when I am at practice and I will continue with my best foot forward,” he said.

Positive thoughts are all around, especially with confirmed meets ahead, meaning there will be more opportunities to compete. Member of the track & field team will take all the opportunities they can get.

“I will continue to work hard and appreciate the opportunities given to me by God. He is the source of my strength and talent,” said McGee, a senior mid-distance runner.

While the indoor track & field season will come to a close within the next month, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has already announced its intentions for a full outdoor season.

“I am so relieved the NCAA confirmed the outdoor season because outdoor is the best season. Indoor is great and all, but outdoor is where it’s at,” freshman sprinter Miller said.

Despite the many setbacks for the program experienced last year, things are looking up for the Minot State track & field teams. Members of both the men’s and women’s track & field teams will participate in the NSIC Championships on Feb. 26 and 27 in Mankato, Minnesota.

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