TU track & field continues to collect awards

Sports editor Callie Hummel discusses track & field’s success despite minimal university support.

The University of Tulsa’s track & field team has been a long time high point for TU athletics. As winter indoor season comes to a close and the outdoor invitations begin, TU is once again proving their competence in track, even if nobody is watching.

Both the men and women’s team capped off a successful winter season at the Indoor American Conference Championships. Four runners obtained first place: Michael Power in the 3,000m, Christian Baker in the mile, Scott Beattie in the 5,000m and Layla Roebe in the 5,000m. Power and Beattie also set new meet records in their respective events.

This is far from the first time a TU track & field athlete has shattered meet records, such as during the Hawkeye Pro run at the Larry Wieczorek invite when Beattie and Power set meet and facility records during the 3,000m. These runners also have a history of breaking school records every season. In February, Power recorded the fifth-fastest 5,000m finish in TU’s indoor history and Christian Baker ran the third-fastest mile in TU history.

This past weekend, six athletes traveled to Stanford, California to participate in the Stanford Invitational. Every single runner that attended the invitational set a new personal best. Baker, Roebke, Beattie, Chloe Hershenow, Shuaib Aljabaly and Malte Propp all came away from the invitational with faster times. Baker also left the invitational with a first place finish in the 3,000m steeplechase.

The weekend prior to the Stanford Invitational, the Shocker Spring Invitational in Wichita saw seven TU athletes finish in first place. Four of these first place winners came from the women’s side, while three came from the men’s totalling overall eight new personal bests during the meet. During this meet, sophomore Evan Sanni Thomas also recorded the eighth fastest 400m in TU history.

This season, however remarkable the achievements may be, is not out of the ordinary for these athletes. Year round, the runners set out to win meets and set new personal bests. While the TU athletic department prioritizes funding to promote the 5-25 men’s basketball team and 5-7 football team, the track and field athletes are bringing home championships despite not having a home course in which to host. This means that the team must travel for every invitational and meet.

While football and basketball are traditionally the main sports that bring a university revenue, it’s apparent that these teams at TU aren’t performing well. The more games these teams continue to lose, the harder it will be for the athletics department to sell tickets, which means revenue will plummet. Instead of spending money to advertise in attempts to get fans to a game that TU loses, the athletic department should be putting resources and money towards the winning programs. Track & field has continuous numerical proof that they deserve more of the university’s commitment and assets and that they will continue to be one of the best athletic teams at TU.

Post Author: Callie Hummel