No excuses. That was the mantra this week for the Saint Mary track and field teams.
Entering into the two-day Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships down in Hillsboro, the shorthanded Spires overcame a lack of numbers to put together its best showing ever at the meet.
Paced by three gold medal performances Tuesday, the USM men placed fifth overall out of the 10-team competition and had 12 of its members receive All-KCAC honors.
“The men exceeded my expectations,” USM coach David Dominguez said. “We showed that we could still win some races even though other teams had at least twice the number of athletes. “I am very proud of our entire team. They represented the University of Saint Mary with great athleticism and class.”
Leading the squad was Caesar Castillo, who won the 5,000 meters race, and Cory Waites, who did the same in the 400 meters. The Saint Mary 4x400 relay team of Chris Callahan, Aaron Potter, Jacob McCurry and Waites also took gold.
Other highlights included Callahan second in the 400 and Potter fourth in the 800. Cameron Avilez (10,000), McCurry (200) and Trevor Dawson (triple jump) all secured bronze medals.
The Lady Spires came in ninth place with only five competitors.
“I am so proud of our women,” Dominguez said. “They showed toughness these last two days. We are young and with more women on the team next year, will be moving up the rankings in the KCAC.”
Notable marks for USM were Samantha Walker winning seventh in 3,000 meters, Amy Jystad coming in eighth in the 1,500 and Lindee Claire snatching ninth in the 400 hurdles.
The team's 4x400 relay foursome of Claire, Winter, Jystad and Carolyn Ellis recorded an eighth-place finish.
The two teams will compete this Saturday morning at Kansas State's Last Chance Meet.