The Emporia State Men’s indoor track team placed 14th in the nation this past season and second in the MIAA championship.
“We have had some injuries that really hurt us,” Head Coach Dave Harris. “I would say that it probably cost us the championship and we have to get over those injuries and in the indoors in the national championship we finished 14th in the nation. To be in the top twenty in the nation is always a good achievement.”
One of the injuries came from Craig Saalfeld who was anticipated to help the team to win the MIAA in his competition for High jump and multi eventer but was taken out due to an inury in the second round of play not allowing his score to count.
“Craig was an individual that could have been an All American in two events,” Harris said. “He could have helped us to be in the Top Ten.”
While the Men’s team had two indoor track All American athletes, Sam Williams in the 60 meter dash and Josh Hunika who won first place in the triple jump at the National Championship.
“Josh had not been up until that point an All American,” said Harris. “He really broke through at the national championship.”
Hornets get ready for the outdoor track season with expectations for the men to win the MIAA and for the women to get back into contention for a MIAA title.
“The women have to have our star athletes to perform at a very high level for this team to do well,” said Harris. “We have to get some help on our depth from the young athletes. They have got to provide some depth to get some points towards us moving up in the conference.”
With several injuries still on the roster for both men’s and women’s track and field, the team is expected to run well with out them and hopefully move them back in to competition when healed.
“We have a group of top individuals,” said Harris. “We need them at the time that the other athletes are injured to try to step up and carry the team and there are a number of those athletes.”
The Hornets have 14 meets this season with four of them at home including April competition.
Cristian Echeverria/The Bulletin