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ORU Track team hosts first community meet

Photo by Jonathan Rodriguez

As the sun beat down and wind whipped across the field, students lined up, took their positions and leapt off to the races, their feet pounding the pavement beneath them one after another.

ORU’s Track and Field Day on Saturday, Sept. 14, was a day for students, faculty, staff and alumni to grab their running shoes, brave the heat, and have fun competing with the community.

Track and field athletes Bryce Choate, Maddy Palodichuk and Josh Tabla began planning this event in July along with the track and field committee, track team sponsors, Student Association and other departments.

“We wanted to provide [this] just as a way for students to get involved and raise awareness,” Audrey Goins, manager of the track team, explained. “We want to interact with you guys, get to know y’all and let y’all be involved with our team.”

Photos by Jonathan Rodriguez

Attendees competed in a myriad of competitions including the 100-meter dash, a mile run, 4×100-meter relay, 400-meter dash, 4×100-meter faculty relay, shot put and long jump all at the ONEOK Sports Complex Track.

“I was super pleased with everyone coming in. It was fun to see the student body come out and compete,” Maddy Palodichuk commented.

“This isn’t a competitive event. This is a have-fun event,” fellow teammate Bryce Choate encouraged students who might be hesitant to try their hand—or feet—at the next event. “This is just to show up, have some fun, compete, maybe get a prize, and if not just enjoy your time competing with other athletes, just to see what it’s like to be a track athlete and do this.”

Around 50 students, faculty, staff and alumni joined the team on Sept. 14 to participate in the first annual Track and Field Day. Participants spent the afternoon face-to-face with the track team competing with one another, getting a small taste of the thrills and challenges of being a student athlete.

“It was really cool getting to see all the students come out and participate,” shared Goins. “I’m sure it was fun for the students who did it in the past to come back and get to do that again, and even for students who hadn’t done it before.”

“I really want to thank everyone who participated. It means a lot to have the support from the student body, even when we’re not competing it’s always good to be in community. That was really one of our goals with the event, and we’re glad to see that is happening,” Josh Tabla stated. 

The track and field team will host a spring track meet at the ONEOK Sports Complex Track. To keep up to date with the ORU Track & Field team, follow @ORUTrack on Instagram and Twitter along with “ORU Track & Field / Cross-Country” on Facebook.

For an inside look, check out our video feature below.