TRACK: Rookie Gardner leads Lady Tops

Josh Buckman

When Western’s track and field team went to Louisville last Friday they hoped to be competing against schools like Eastern Kentucky and Wright State.

The Hilltoppers also got an unexpected challenge from mother nature when rain forced the cancellation of 20 of the 31 events at the Cardinal Invitational.

Last weeks Sun Belt Conference field performer of the week sophomore Raigoo Toompuu recorded his best throw of the season with a 50-6.75 in the shot put event and a fourth place finish.

“I had a problem with my elbow from last week, Toompuu said. “But I was able to do very well.”

For the Lady Toppers freshman Angie Gardner recorded three personal bests on the day which featured a 41.27 meter mark in the Hammer throw, a 10.48 meter throw in the shot put and a 31.22 meter toss in the discuss throw.

While some may think that by not being able to complete the meet the Hilltoppers have suffered a setback. However head coach Curtiss Long thinks that rain may have allowed some team members to get an extra weeks worth of rest and help heal some injuries.

This could come in handy when the team competes in the Sun Belt Conference Outdoor Championships on May 9-11.

A handful of team members went to Oregon for the Oregon Invitationals. Senior Olga Cronin grabbed the third spot in the 5000-meter (16:44.39) improving her personal best by 9 seconds.

Next week most of the team will get an extra week to prepare for the Sun Belt Championships. However about 15 Hilltoppers will go to Athens, Georgia for a meet with Coach Long’s former employer, Georgia.

Reach Josh Buckman at [email protected]