The women’s and men’s track and field teams traveled Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2 to Cape Girardeau, Mo. for the Joey Haines Invitational, while the 10K runners traveled to St. Louis, Mo. for the Washington University Invitational. During the weekend, they continued to gather personal bests as well as breaking school records.
Jumping Coach Joey Pacione said the athletes did an exceptional job at the meets, and a lot of athletes competed with high levels of energy.
“I feel the meet went really well, especially for the jumpers, the throwers and the 10K runners,” Pacione said. “The 10K runners ran at Washington University, so they weren’t at the same meet as the jumpers and throwers, but they still did really well.”
Pacione said there were many standout performances among the athletes during the meet.
Junior thrower Megan Lauzon set the all-time SIUE discus record of 159 feet and 6 inches.
Junior distance runner Keith Meyer was only three seconds short of breaking the 10K record and senior thrower Greg Block became second of all-time in the hammer throw with a mark 191-7.5, surpassing his brother and head coach, Scott Block’s, record.
“Megan Lauzon broke the school record for the discus,” Pacione said. “Keith Meyer was three seconds from the school 10K records, and Greg Block threw the second best hammer throw in school history as well as achieving a personal best and [junior jumper] Julian Harvey broke the outdoor record for the triple jump.”
Although the Cougars have had a consistent outdoor season thus far, Pacione said there is always room for improvement.
“I think some of the athletes didn’t mentally keep themselves in the competition,” Pacione said. “We have to do a better job keeping focus, so as long as the mental side of things improve for most of the athletes, times and distances will be better.”
Pacione said he is excited to see how the Cougars continue to progress throughout the rest of the season.
“I feel good about moving forward,” Pacione said. “All of the coaches are working their butts off and are doing a good job working with the athletes, so we are well prepared to compete, and I think we will continue to have even more highlight performances from more athletes.”
Lauzon said there were not many differences in the meets, but breaking the record was definitely a highlight.
“I didn’t feel that different going into the meet,” Lauzon said. “The only thing that made a big difference was that I had a huge PR, and I broke the school record. I didn’t even realize I broke it until my coaches told me, so that was very big for me.”
Lauzon said the feeling of breaking the record was surreal since it has not been broken in over 30 years.
“I was so excited,” Lauzon said. “I have been trying to break that record since my freshman year. The record hasn’t been broken at SIUE since the ‘80s, so to have a new record under my name is great, and I want to continue breaking my own record.”
Even after accomplishing her goal of breaking the discus record, Lauzon said she wants to continue progressing and compete at nationals.
“I have goals set for myself for the rest of the season,” Lauzon said. “I want to reach 51 meters because then, I will probably be able to qualify for the first round of nationals in May with that record, so that is what I am striving for now.”
Block said the meet was pretty regular, and that he is starting to see all of their hard work come full circle.
“It was a pretty smooth meet,” Block said. “Things are starting to come together and hard work is starting to pay off."
Block said he was surprised to know that he broke his brother’s record.
“I feel really good about it,” Block said. “It’s a pretty cool title to hold, and it’s unique. Not many can say that they were able to do something like that.”
Throughout the rest of the season, Block said he wants to continue improving himself and making himself eligible for the first round of nationals.
“My ultimate goal is to make it to the first round of nationals,” Block said. “It takes about 60 meters, and I am about six feet off, which is basically a meter off. I just want to continue doing what I am doing and everything should work, and with the training that we do, I should be able to do that in the next two meets.”
The women’s and men’s track and field teams will travel to Bowling Green, Ky., on Friday, April 8 through Saturday, April 9 for the Hilltopper Relay.