Several tracksters headed for nationals - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Several tracksters headed for nationals


Sophomore Jana Stiffler, shown during cross country action last fall, broke a 35-year-old LCC school track record in the 10K race with a time of 37:16.39 on April 27 at Grand Valley State. Photo by Kaitlyn Delaney

Michael Leek

By Michael Leek
Sports Editor

The LCC track and field team is in the final stages of its season with three meets remaining throughout May. Up to this point LCC has had success over the season, breaking several school records and qualifying multiple athletes to nationals.

Sophomore Jana Stiffler broke a 35-year-old LCC school record in the 10K race by running a time of 37:16.39 on April 27 at Grand Valley State University. She broke the record by almost a full minute and finished second in the race behind Michigan State’s Fatima Giron.

Stiffler said she knew what pace she needed to maintain to break the record and was completely in the moment.

“As I neared the finish, I glanced at the clock and began calculating,” Stiffler said. “Realizing that I was on pace to set the record was an indescribable feeling.”

LCC Head Coach Jim Robinson said he has been pleased with how the season has gone thus far. He said there has been an overall improvement in all the events.

“One of our goals has been to develop a full track team with good athletes in every event group,” Robinson said. “We made major strides this year. Now we’re more than just a good distance squad, we have a complete track team.”

Stiffler said the season has been amazing as well, and after a challenging offseason for her, she did not expect to do this well.

“My season kicked off far better than anticipated,” Stiffler said. “I leaned heavily on cross-training. Initially, my main objective for the year was to break 18 minutes in the 5K, I hadn’t even considered the possibility of setting a school record in the 10K.”

The Stars had eight athletes qualify for nationals, including three pole vaulters: freshman Alex Brown, sophomore Thialen Broughton and freshman Reyna Rojas.

Stiffler qualified for the women’s 5K and 10K. Sophomore Michael Dennis qualified in the men’s 5K and 10K.

Other national qualifiers are sophomore Liam Elder in the men’s 5K, sophomore Gabriel Phillips in the men’s steeplechase and 5K, and sophomore Aaron Bowerman in the men’s steeplechase.

Robinson said the cross country runners from last fall have translated their talents well to the track and field events, especially in the longer distance events.

Robinson said because of his excellent coaching staff for the different events, he has been able to focus on developing the distance runners while the other staff prioritize other events.

“All of our coaches are very responsible, so it allows me to focus distance running and organizing,” Robinson said.

Stiffler said she is excited to race in nationals after her standout meet at Grand Valley State.

“I want to just enjoy the experience and compete among some incredible athletes,” Stiffler said. “I’m determined to give it my all and cap off what has been an undeniably amazing season.”

Nationals will be held from Thursday, May 16 to Saturday, May 18 in Monroe, Louisiana.



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