The ACU indoor track and field team traveled back to Lubbock for the Texas Tech Red Raider Open, finishing the meet with multiple successes and earning top spots among the Western Athletic Conference leader boards.
“It was a great start to our season with so many personal bests,” said head track and field coach Jerrod Cook. “We are keeping perspective, this is our starting point, this is not where we are going to finish. There is so much room for improvement since our first run is just knocking the dust off.”
Payton Kirby, women’s long jump, Irene Rono, women’s mile, Ella Anttila, women’s triple jump and Jared Williams, men’s 400m, are all leading the WAC indoor performance list after their strong performances at the Red Raider Open.
Another athlete that stood out was, Anitta Brandenburg, a senior from Düsseldorf, Germany, who placed an overall 2nd-place in WAC shot put list, and received this week’s Western Athletic Conference Athlete of the Week for field.
In order to continue this success, Cook said committing to the process at training and trying to work more consistently all around will get them where they should be.
“Everyone wants to win on the weekend, but it’s what we do from now until then is what makes those things happen,” Cook said.
Ella Anttila, junior from Helsinki, Finland, was awarded WAC athlete of the week last week after her performance at the Texas Tech Corky Classic. Cook later went on to say that Anttila was surprised she got the award because she knows that wasn’t her best.
“She has a perspective knowing that she is setting her bar high, and she’s not gonna settle for a performance in her mind she doesn’t feel is up to it,” said Cook. “She is pushing hard, and working hard because she’s not satisfied with what she has done so far.”
Anttila said she was hoping for a better opener, but realizes these meets and jumps are what is going to help her in the future meets and hopefully help the team reach their goal of earning their first-ever Western Athletic Conference title.
“Although I am not happy with my performance, I know with training I will get to where I want by conference,” Anttila said.
Cook also went on to say that he is excited to see multiple improvements across the board and that he hopes his team come back from meets hungry to work, all to help build the team’s confidence.
“The more meets they participate in, the more the athletes understand how they can continue to improve,” said coach Cook.
The Wildcats will head back to Lubbock to compete in the Texas Tech Individual and Multis meet, which will take place on Jan. 28 through Jan. 29.