After a successful opening day with six event wins, Indiana Athletics maintained momentum with a strong performance on day two. At the end of the day, the team went home with an amazing nine event wins and a clean win in the 4×400 relays.
Senior sprinter Antonio Laidler played a major part in this success. Not only was he part of the winning relay team, but he also won Friday’s 60m final and Saturday’s 200m final with 6.76 and 21.56 seconds, respectively.
The men’s 200 meters were all hoosiers, with junior Trelee Banks-Rose also winning his run by 21.65 seconds.
Graduate student Serena Bolden also won two triple jumps and long jumps. Her 12.21m/40-0.75 in the triple jump was good for ninth place in program history.
It was a strong team effort in the women’s 800m. The trio of graduate student Jenna Barker, junior Maddie Russin, and graduate student Maddie Dalton accounted for three of the top four finishes, and all three had personal bests. Barker spoke about the chemistry between the three teammates.
“We push each other physically, but they also know everything about me mentally,” Barker said after the meeting. “You know when I’m nervous or confident.”
In the men’s 800-meter dash, sophomore Jaylen Castillo stormed onto the stage with a personal best of 1:54.82, earning his first win of his collegiate career.
“I struggled with a lot of injuries the first year, but this year I was healthy, so it felt good to finally get a win,” Castillo said.
Castillo’s first win didn’t come in a pleasant way as he narrowly edged out his rival in second place by just 0.01 seconds.
“When it comes to the last 60 meters, it’s all about who wants it more and I was able to grind it out,” Castillo said.
Castillo wasn’t the only Hoosier to claim his first win on Saturday. Graduate student Dustin Horter topped the leaderboard in an 800-meter dash with a personal best of 1:51.88. Horter said it wasn’t his ideal performance but he had been able to stay level-headed through adversity.
“When you’re challenged by this caliber of athletes every day, you get used to it and you learn to keep your composure until the moment comes to strike,” Horter said.
Another star of the show was Senior Parker Raymond in the men’s 600m. Raymond said he was very pleased with his performance and, like Barker, attributed most of the credit to his teammates.
“Overall, we’re all getting better every day and we’re looking good for the Big Tens,” Raymond said.
Raymond said that everyone on the team puts together training sessions of the highest standard every day and that is the main reason for the team’s overall success.
With 15 event wins over the weekend and a slew of personal records, the Hoosiers’ track teams seem to be picking up steam at the perfect time. While the track is judged on individual performance, it’s the team’s ability to support and push one another to the next level that gives them an edge over the competition.
The team will return for the Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championships February 24-25 in Geneva, Ohio.