by Marlin Copeland
The Mules track and field team perhaps has been overshadowed all season long by their teammate Jennies. The Jennies won a National Championship during the indoor season and have carried that momentum into the outdoor season, being ranked No. 1 in each poll. But one part of the Mules track team has been consistent all season long.
The 4×400 meter relay team of juniors Marquis Jones and Kellin Loch, and sophomores Osvaldo Granillo, Michael Lockhart and Jacob Randle has a been a staple of success during the indoor season, placing fifth in the indoor national meet. It was the first All-American 4×400 meter relay team for the Mules since 2010. The same success has followed them into the outdoor season. The relay team took first in their last competition.
“We didn’t place as high at nationals due to some injuries,” Loch said. “Not getting what we wanted in indoor is really pushing us for outdoor.”
Having chemistry and building relationships with teammates creates a bond for one common goal. The 4×400 meter relay team has done that, leading to a better performance on the track.
“We hang out from time to time,” Loch said. “We have fun on some weekends.”
Jones agreed that the team was close this season.
“I think this year we are closer than before, due to the fact we have accomplished a lot and we wanted to be closer off the track,” Jones said.
One particular teammate didn’t feel the same way about off-track relationship.
“I have a girlfriend,” Granillo said.
As the outdoor season winds down, the Mules 4×400 meter relay team has some common goals.
“Stay healthy and go to conference and try to score some points,” Jones said.
Granillo said he had records on his mind.
“We just want to do what we are supposed to, and hopefully we can get the outdoor record, which would be awesome,” Granillo said.
The Mules 4×400 meter relay team and the rest of UCM track and field have a busy week ahead, as they make their final preparations before the outdoor conference championships May 1-3. A portion of the team will be heading to the Drake Relays April 23-25 while others will be at the Simpson Relays in Indianola, Iowa and the Baker Open in Baldwin City, Kan.