Track and field competes at Auburn: A recap even you can understand

Brandon Hazouri, Columnist

The Samford track and field team has had its share of great performances this year, and this weekend’s trip to Auburn University was no different. The likelihood that you understand the metrics and distance of the various events is probably quite low, and you may not care at all. But I’m here as a current athlete unable to participate due to a bum leg to put this in terms even you can understand.

Robert Wadlow is the tallest recorded human being to ever live. He was recorded to have been 8 feet, 11 inches tall. On Saturday, Samford’s Tray Oates ran full speed while holding a stick, planted that stick into the ground and launched himself so high that if Wadlow were still alive today— may he rest in peace—and you stacked two Wadlow’s on top of each other, Oates could have cleared the second Wadlow with three centimeters to spare.

Only 10 other athletes across all of NCAA Division 1 track and field could vault high enough that they could safely clear the late Mr. Wadlow.

Oates was not the only vaulter to find success on Saturday. Gavin Gautreau also showed out, jumping 16.5 feet, which is high enough that he currently sits within the top 48 pole vaulters east of the Mississippi. That mark will likely give him to a chance to jump at the NCAA regional meet.

On the women’s side, Karisa Nelson was the highlight of the weekend. If you don’t already know who Nelson is, just take a quick Google search. Nelson continued her impressive record as she ran her way to the ninth-fastest time in the entire East region this year in the 1,500-meters, a distance that, for reasons unbeknownst to us, is 109 meters short of a full mile. Track likes to make things as confusing as possible and then complain as to why the general public doesn’t care, but that’s a story for another day.
Had Nelson continued to keep running the extra 109 meters after she came through 1,500 meters in 4:17.2, she likely would have run around 4:37 for the mile, which is faster than you.

Freshman Maggie Johnston may have well snuck her way into the regional meet as well. In women’s discus, an event all you ultimate Frisbee enthusiasts should get excited about, Johnston tossed the 2.2-pound disc 161 feet through the air. That mark puts her in 46th place in the East right now and will hopefully hold that position through the conference championship weekend.

Now that you are a track and field aficionado, you understand what a big weekend Samford had. The team jumped really high and ran really fast.

Hazouri is a senior sport administration major.

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