On Feb. 23, the track and field men’s 4×100 meter relay team the school record in their first competitive race together. Their 41.45 second time is the fastest in the NAIA and automatically qualified the team for Outdoor Nationals.
The team consists of seniors Alec Duran, Gabe Warner, Jay Lewis and Noah Rogers, who are all in their fourth track and field season despite never racing together. Between the four members, they have won 10 individual and relay NAIA conference titles, and have been All-Conference 20 times, and one All-American in a variety of different events.
Individually, the athletes rank high in the NAIA in their other events as well. Warner ranks first in the NAIA for the 400 meters. Rogers is placed second for the 400 meter hurdles. The other teammates are also placing high in their events.
According to Rogers, beyond breaking records, the relay team holds multiple responsibilities as members of a unit. The men have practice every day of the week from about 3:45 p.m. to 6 p.m. From there, they typically complete 30 to 45 minutes in the training room, taking care of their bodies and making sure that they are prepared. The team arrives on campus at 7 a.m. on Saturdays for meets and do not return to school until after 9 p.m.
Rogers hopes for the continued improvement of the team, especially now that each member has a big opportunity to qualify in their individual events.
“We have a great men’s and women’s team, and we hope to make a strong push to win the Conference Title and placing our team Top 15 at Nationals with multiple All-Americans,” Roger said.
To receive updates on practices and meets, follow the track and field team’s Instagram page, @vu_xctf, as well as check up on the Vanguard Lion’s athletics website.