Track athletes fair well in first meets

By Troy Murray

While most students were relaxing during winter break, the men’s track team was competing and working to stay in shape.

On Jan. 8, the team competed in the Hoosier Open. Although the team only took its runners, it won five of the nine events in which it competed.

Freshman Pierre Bush won two of those five events, with first place finishes in both the 60m dash and the long jump. Junior Andre English and sophomore Nathan Vadeboncoeur finished third and fourth, respectively, in the 60m.

“I knew Pierre was a great runner but I had never seen him run in person,” said junior All-American Abe Jones. “He looked real sharp. It feels good to have a younger guy up there on the team with the older guys.”

While some were pleasantly surprised with his performance, Bush said it was no shock to him.

“I try to go into every meet expecting to win,” Bush said. “I train to win so it wasn’t a surprise to me.”

In his collegiate debut at Southern Illinois University on Dec. 11, Bush placed sixth in the 200m and fifth in the 55m dash.

“I felt a little nervous at Southern and didn’t do as well,” Bush said. “I ran against a bunch of seniors and I was a little intimidated.”

The Illini were also impressive in the 600m with another three runners finishing in the top four. Sophomore Zach Glavash won the race with Jones finishing second and sophomore Kenny Johnson finishing fourth.

Junior Tramell Smith won the 800m while the Illini’s other All-American runner, junior Adrian Walker, finished second.

A team of Glavash, Kenny Johnson, sophomore Jeremy Kruidenier and freshman Paul Johnson also won the 4x400m relay.

The team stepped up its workload during break in order to stay in running shape.

“I only went home three of the days,” Jones said. “I’ve stayed in town and practiced with nine other guys. Usually, you go home for most of the break and practice on your own, but we stayed here and worked hard.”

Bush was forced to stay in town because he had nowhere to train in his hometown of Indianapolis.

Jones said the younger runners benefit from the team having two All-American runners.

“When you have two All-American runners on the team, it really changes the intensity of the workouts,” Jones said. “Coach (Wayne Angel) structures practice around where he thinks we are supposed to be. We’re all training as All-American runners.”