Track Sets Personal Records Despite Poor Team Performance


Saint Louis University Athletics

Senior Ryan Noonan races around the track. Noonan took home three medals at the Atlantic-10 Indoor Championships.

This past weekend, Men’s and Women’s Track and Field competed at the Atlantic-10 Indoor Championships at Mackal Field House in Kingston, Rhode Island.

As a collective, the men scored 51 points in the meet, giving them an eighth-place finish out of 10 teams.

Junior long distance runner Manuel de Backer competed in the 5000 meter and 3000-meter races where he was seeded to win gold in the 5000 and bronze in the 3000, but ended both races with the silver. De Backer missed first place in the 5000 on Saturday by four thousandths of a second. On Sunday during the 3000, he crossed the finish line at a personal best time of 8:19.14.

De Backer was disappointed in his performance during the 5000, saying “It looked like I was going to win, but in the last meter I got out-inched. I was mad at myself that I didn’t have that little bit left in me.” His performance in the 3000 surprised him, though. “It was a really fast race with a strong crew. I wasn’t expecting to PR. It came out of nowhere.”

On Tuesday it was announced that freshman long distance runner, Ben Naeger, earned a spot on the Indoor Track and Field All Rookie Team. Naeger ran in the 5000 meter and 3000 meter, where he was the only freshman competing amongst older and more experienced runners. In the 3000, Naeger earned ninth out of 13 and in the 5000, he earned tenth out of 20.

Senior Ryan Noonan had an exciting road to the podium on Sunday. On Saturday, Noonan finished fifth in the 800 prelims, which was good enough to make it to the final race on Sunday. He then took home second place with a time of 1:53.40.

Noonan continued to have a successful weekend with the Billiken men taking home the bronze in the men’s 4×800 meter relay. Junior Kevin Ganahl, Noonan, sophomore Jon Schaefer, and junior Tannock Blair broke the school record with their bronze finish with an ending time of 7:40.7.

The women had a disappointing weekend, while only scoring three points and placing twelfth out of 13.

Junior Ann Harlos reached the finals of the 60-meter hurdles and ran to an eighth-place finish of 9.13. Freshman Katie Wissing finished eighth in the triple jump, hitting 11.37 meters.