Last weekend was a busy one for the women’s track team, with junior Katie Nowak breaking a Bradley record.
Nowak won her third race of the season for the Braves, taking the indoor mile with a time of 4:50.88.
Her time was two seconds faster than second-place finisher Nicole Braunsdorf of Drake, and broke the previous Bradley record of 4:53.16, which had been held by Mary Ellen Hill.
Hill set multiple records during the 1998-99 seasons, and garnered All-America honors at the 1998 NCAA indoor championships.
Coach David Beauchem said he is optimistic about the rest of the season.
“Katie red-shirted in cross country and has finally been able to train intensely and stay healthy,” he said. “I think her best performances are still to come this spring. She has some high goals, but I think she is capable of reaching them.”
The team boasts a schedule that includes a meet every week for the remainder of the semester, split between indoor and outdoor competitions.
The Braves participated in their third event of the year last weekend, competing in the Iowa State Open.
The open kicked off last Friday afternoon, and the team made a splash early, finishing 12th in the women’s distance medley.
The team, made up of freshman Michelle Hartman, sophomore Leann Murphy and juniors Marlana Haefelin and Shannon Seyller finished the race with a time of 13 minutes, almost 70 seconds behind Missouri Valley Conference rival Drake, which won the event.
Bradley’s top performer in the 200 meter-dash was junior Erika Sepich, who finished with a season-best time of 28.04 seconds and took home 57th place.
Freshman Tatierra Bivens finished with a time just a tenth of a second behind Sepich, landing in 59th place.
Nowak wasn’t the only Brave that stepped up their games, as the weekend saw multiple athletes supply their best performances of the year.
Senior Amanda Harms scored Bradley’s best finish of the year in the 60-meter hurdles, completing her heat in 10.12 seconds, good enough for 38th place.
Bivens had the Braves’ best 60-meter dash finish, taking home 45th-place with a time of 8.40 seconds.
When asked about how he expects the rest of track season to unfold, Beauchem stressed a continual focus on improvement.
He said his biggest expectation is that his team continues to working hard and improve.
“It doesn’t matter where anyone is on the team,” Beauchem said. “The biggest key to our success will always be how we progress through the season to the MVC meet. Everyone can and must progress through the season.”
The Braves will return to the track Saturday at Northern Iowa.