By all accounts, the 2012 indoor track season was a successful one for the Mount Marty Lancers. Although both men’s and women’s teams managed only a 10th place showing in the 11-team GPAC meet in Lincoln, Nebraska on Feb. 17 & 18, three individuals competed in the NAIA Indoor Championships and two of those earned All-American status.
The Lancers traveled to Geneva, Ohio to compete in the national meet on March 1-3. Trevor Lopour made his second nationals appearance in the high jump but was unable to clear the opening height.
Samuel Lopez also made his second appearance at the national meet, competing in the open 800 meter run after being a member of the qualifying 3200 meter relay team last year. Lopez ran 1:55.5 for the 800 in his preliminary heat and advanced to the eight-athlete final, in which a finish would guarantee a top-eight finish and the All-American award that comes with. Lopez struggled a bit in the final but held on to finish a solid eighth and earn his first All-American award as a sophomore.
“Sam ran all-out in his prelim, which is exactly what he had to do.” Head coach Randy Fischer said. “He was pretty fatigued for the final, but he put himself in position to be an All-American. It was a great effort on his part.”
The third and final athlete to compete at nationals was senior Katie Breuer. Breuer, a former state champion pole-vaulter from Madison, was making her third indoor nationals appearance but had struggled to place to this point. Not this year however, as Katie cleared 11-9 3/4 to place 5th and earn her first All-American award. This was the first time in nearly a decade that two separate athletes from Mount Marty earned All-American awards at the same national meet.
“We knew that Katie had the potential to earn All-American and place very well, and she finally hit the right day where she hit her marks and had some great vaults,” Fischer said.
The Lancers begin their outdoor track & field season on March 30 in Wayne, Nebraska at the Wildcat Classic.
*Look for a blog post detailing results from the Irishman road races, held on March 17 in Sioux Falls, early next week*