by Ali Rincon
Last Saturday at Birmingham Southern, the Millsaps track and field team saw a great start to its 2014 season. At their only indoor meet and the first meet of the season, the Majors showed that they are serious competitors with a team comprised of both new faces and returning athletes.
“I thought the meet went really great for our first one of the season,” says senior distance runner Courtney Aymett. “Several of the teams out there had already competed in some indoor meets this season. This was our first one for the year, and we really showed them we are ready to get out there and compete.” Some major highlights of the meet included Mitchell Keeton’s second-place finish in pole vault, where he jumped 3.95 meters, and Ben Parva’s 5K race, in which he finished second at 16 minutes flat.
This meet also included the return of junior distance runner Mikaela Thurber. Thurber spent the majority of the cross country season last fall in the hospital due to health complications and was ready to get back on the track as soon as possible.
“Being able to run with Mik again was an amazing experience,” freshmen Gabriella Rincon says of Thurber. “Seeing her run her heart out after being in a bed for a long time was very inspirational, and we are all happy to have her back.”
Even with many returning upperclassmen, several transfer students and freshmen were able to break ground as well. Freshmen Clayton Killebrew, at his first collegiate meet, placed third in shotput and set a new school record with his shot distance of 12.76 meters. The 4×2 relay and the mile relay were new experiences for senior Nico Roth and sophomores Conor Hagan and Taylor Hayes. With a finishing time of 1:39.90 for the 4×2 and 3:48.00 for the mile relay, this new team still has some work to do despite a promising first performance.
“I was pleased for the most part with our performances at the SAA Challenge,” Head Coach Andy Till said. “The competition is better than ever within our conference, and the meet was a really good wake-up call.”
The next meet for the Majors will be the outdoor Mississippi College Opener March 1.