At the surface, track & field can be viewed as a simple sport; run the fastest, jump the highest or furthest, throw the farthest. But ask anyone involved with the sport and there’s much more to it. That’s what has made this season so incredible for the Loras track & field program. The junior leaders in Gabby Noland (’20) and Patrick Mikel (’20) have taken the conference and region by storm and have the capability to single-handedly put on a show in Boston on March 8-9.
In three individual events, Noland ranks in the top-10 in each, including the 60m, where she boasts the nation’s fastest time of 7.59 seconds. Her 200m time of 24.59 ranks third along with her 400m time of 56.44 that ranks seventh. Based on those rankings, Noland would score 20 points by herself at the national meet, which would place her 10th in the team standings. Fortunately for both Noland and Loras, she won’t be alone. Heading into the final qualifying weekend, the Duhawks are in position to bring six qualifiers to Boston, with an additional few right on the cusp of earning trips as well.
The reigning indoor national champion in the 400m once again leads the way for the men’s program in 2019. Mikel continues to blitz the competition, entering the week with the No. 1 time in the 400m at 47.18. In addition to his 400m time, Mikel also ranks 13th in the 200m with his qualifying time of 21.63, both marks set at last week’s American Rivers Conference Championships. Former Wahlert Catholic prep, Ryan Rogers, is in position to join Mikel in Boston as a competitor in the heptathlon. Rogers’ point total of 4,882 at the Dubuque Championships put him in ninth in Division III and should qualify easiliy.
At the American Rivers Conference Championships last weekend, the men’s program finished second in the team race while the women’s team placed third. Following the meet, Noland was named the Female Indoor Track Performer of the Meet while Mikel was named the Male Outdoor Track Performer of the meet.