Rocky Mountain College athletes participated in the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championship Tournament, which took place from Feb. 28 to March 2 in Brookings, South Dakota.
Students Elijah Boyd, Brenden Leaming, Joseph Vanden Bos, and Isaac Petsch represented RMC.
Isaac Petsch qualified in the one-mile run and Elijah Boyd qualified in the 800-meter run. All four boys qualified in the Distance Medley Relay.
The DMR is made up of 1,200 meter, 400 meter, 800 meter, and 1,600 meter runs.
Boyd, who did not have too many expectations before the season, said he wanted “to place in the 800 meter, but missed the mark by two places.”
However, Boyd also said, “We achieved the team goal, which was to place nationally in the DMR.”
Coach Mike McLean said, “The Distance Medley team finished the Nationals as All Americans in the event. We met our goals for those athletes in the relay.”
Overall, McLean considered this year’s indoor season successful. “Especially considering the harsh weather conditions through January and February,” McLean added.
“When it gets cold we basically have to suck it up and keep our goals in mind,” said Boyd. “Remember that the cold runs will all be worth it.”
The track and field team utilizes many different areas for practice.
The team trains in the small gym, in the weight room, on the indoor track, on the football field, on treadmills, at the Altrain Fitness Center, and at the Metra AG building during the winter.
McLean explained, “When the weather warms, we get to use Billings West, Skyview, Lewis and Clark, and Billings Central Catholic´s Tracks.”
Rocky does not have its own outdoor track, even though track athletes and coaches are pushing for one.
The Track and Field Project, as it is called, started only two years ago.
The coaches have recognized an increase in the number of the team members. Last year the team included 35 athletes; this year that number totals 45.
McLean described several main goals of the team: to qualify as many athletes as possible for the NAIA National Championship Tournament, to improve performances, and to have fun.
These refer not only to the indoor season, but also to the upcoming outdoor season.
Coaches and athletes work hard to see ground to run, throw, and pole vault safely.
Coach McLean invites all Rocky students to support their Track and Field team at a nearby event by the end of March.
“Come on out and watch the Battlin´ Bears compete at Laurel´s High School Track on March 30!” said McLean.