Pack indoor track shines on national stage
Colorado State University-Pueblo’s indoor track team displayed a great performance at the Indoor Track & Field National Championships in Pittsburg, Kansas. The Pack men tied for 10th place, and the women finished 12th. But it was individual athletes for the Thunderwolves that stole the show. For the women, their distance medley relay team of Hailey Streff, Tatianna Clanton, Yasmine Hernandez and Nicole Bouma were named All-Americans, while Lauren Fairchild won the national title in the long jump.
“It still feels not real,” Fairchild said. “I wasn’t expecting to jump that far.” Fairchild, a junior, on top of her national championship, also broke the school record for the farthest long jump earlier in the season at the Mines Triangular. “I just want to keep getting better every time I jump,” Fairchild added.
On the men’s side, Thomas Staines, a junior who was born in England, ran for his third straight national championship for the 800-meter run. He said how unreal this feat is for him. “If you would’ve asked me my freshman year if I ever thought that was possible, I would’ve said ‘no.’ It’s definitely an amazing feeling but I just want to keep doing it. I like putting our small school in the map,” Staines said. Outside of CSU-Pueblo, Staines holds the British record in the 600-meter indoor race. “That’s a crazy feeling because I looked at my name on the all-time list, and my name was right above or under legends.”
With all of these accomplishments, Staines talked about his plan to represent England internationally. “Last summer I hit the qualifying times for both The Olympics and the World Championships. If I’m top in the trials, I will get to go to the World Champs.”
Staines also won a National title this season in the distance medley relay, with his relay team of Patrick Scoggins, Shawn Horne, and Devundrick Walker. Walker, on top of his national title, was also named an All-American after he finished 6th in the 800-meter. “You build up your reputation, and it’s just a testament to how experienced you are. It just comes with competing really well.”
Walker, a senior, also talked about his future surrounding track. “I want to run pro. Just to represent CSU-Pueblo further, and after that I’d like to coach. So regardless of what happens, so regardless of what happens I’m going to be around track for a long time.”