On Saturday, Feb 20 the Leesville Track team traveled to UNC-CH to compete in the Indoor State Championship meet.
Since qualifying standards are so difficult to meet, only seven athletes competed at the State level: Aaron Smith, Brian Jackson, Stephen Ryan, Bilo Hoese, Christian Klute, Peter Ficalora and Lauren Strapp.
Bo Burns, Will Woodhouse and Andrew Byrum qualified as well, but did not compete.
The men’s 4×8 relay, consisting of Brian Jackson, Aaron Smith, Stephen Ryan and Bilo Hoese, placed third in the state with a time of 8:30.22.
Mark Mclamb, coach, was very pleased with the men’s performance. “It’s extremely hard to even qualify for the State meet. Placing in the top ten is very respectable. I’m very proud of third place.”
Aaron Smith and Brian Jackson, two of the 4×8 runners, also ran the 1000m, placing 4th and 9th, respectively. Smith ran a 2:40.34, and Jackson ran a 2:50.15.
Laruen Strapp, senior, ran the 1600m with a time of 5:16.45 and the 3200m with a time of 11:26.05. She placed 5th in the 1600 and 3rd in the 3200m, another exceptional performance.
Christian Klute, junior, ran the 3200m as well, placing 14th with a time of 10:08. Klute felt that his time would have been faster at an outdoor track. “The track at UNC is 8 laps to a mile, so you have to run around twice as many times as usual, which slows you down because of the increased number of curves.”
Peter Ficalora, sophomore, placed 5th in the pole vault with 13’0’’ and was the only field competitor from Leesville.
Overall the Men’s team finished in 14th place, and the Women’s team placed in 17th place.