With the passing of the Alma Invitational this past Friday, The Bulldogs stepped out of the indoor arenas and into the sun for the start of the outdoor track & field season.
Both the women and men of the Bulldogs’ track & field program took fourth place at the invitational meet, compiling 89 and 87 points respectively.
However, the Bulldogs ended the indoor season on a bit of a sour note, as the women’s team earned 11th place while the men took home 13th place in the indoor GLIAC Championships back in early March. Still, standout athletes dot the roster, and individual accomplishments came in spades during the indoor season.
“Really this indoor season was one of the better ones that we’ve had in a while. We had four provisional national qualifiers and we had a total of 30 P.R.’s (personal records) during the indoor season,” Head Coach Jared Kelsh said.
The Bulldogs attempt to use the indoor season as a tool, as they learn and further hone their skills through early competition in preparation for what is to come.
The indoor season is used as a sort of training segment for the outdoor season according to Kelsh, allowing the runners to see what they’ll be facing once they’re forced outside.
Now that the Bulldogs are braving the elements in outdoor meets, they are looking ahead to competitive contests on the horizon.
“Later in the season we’ll be going to the Hillsdale ‘Gina’ relays, and they always put on a big meet towards the end of the year. We’re also going to the Grand Valley Classic, and that’s always pretty competitive for us,” says Kelsh. “Those are probably the two biggest meets we’ll be heading to this season other than the GLIAC Championships.”
Facing off against conference competition so often yields great experience and familiarity benefits for the Bulldogs.
“The GLIAC is probably one of the most competitive conferences in Division II. Leading into the indoor championships we had three GLIAC teams ranked in the top five teams in the country,” says Kelsh. “So, having the opportunity to see these teams two or three times gives us a better hold on what our competition is and what we will be facing later in the season.”
The Dawgs will next compete on April 11 at Hillsdale in yet another conference meet.