Kolodge breaks 10k school record; Huskies impress in season opener
RALEIGH — The Michigan Tech track & field team dazzled over three days in the Tarheel State, posting five NCAA Provisional Qualifying standards, being highlighted by a new school record holder in the 10,000m as Drew Kolodge ran 29:43.24 at Raleigh Relays over the weekend.
“Raleigh Relays was a great meet for us and we’re coming back home with a new school record and five provisional qualifying marks,” head coach Kristina Owen said. “The student-athletes we sent to this meet all ran really well and it’s a great starting point for the season. They’re going to continue to improve as the season goes on and it’s going to be a lot of fun to cheer them on as they do!”
The duo of Sam Lange and Clayton Sayen were the first to take to the track, competing in the 1,500m.
In the sixth heat, Lange had the fastest splits from 300m-700m and 1,100m-1,500m clipping off 1:01.02 and a blazing 58.16 for his last lap to solidify the win by over a second and lowered his personal best by over two and a half seconds.
His performance was well under the NCAA Provisional Qualifying time.
Sayen, the Houghton local, would also turn out an NCAA Provisional Qualifying time coming out of the 13th heat where he placed sixth, crossing the finish line in 3:47.98. He posted the fastest split for the first full lap (300m-700m), covering the 400m in 1:01.38, he continued to sustain the lead until the bell lap.
“Both Sam and Clayton ran admirable 1,500m races,” assistant head coach Robert Young mentioned. “It was fun to watch Sam have better speed than his competition down the homestretch to win the heat.
“I think we’re going to see both Sam and Clayton continue to drop time as they come into their stride for the later half of the season,” Owen added.
In her Raleigh Relays debut, Senior Michelle Bollini closed out the first day of competition for the Huskies in the women’s 10,000m under the lights in the first of two heats. The pace was quick from the start as the top-16 ran under 35 minutes for the 6.2 mile race. Bollini placed 29th in her heat, clocking a time of 37:39.94.
“It was great to get Michelle into this high-powered meet as we weren’t sure that was going to happen until late last week,” Young said. “She did well to hold onto the hot pace early but it seemed to catch up to her in the late stages of the race although she displayed a good fight when things got tough.”
It was a long wait for the only competition of the day as the men’s 10,000m was under the lights with a 9:25 p.m. start time. However, those that watched the stream or just the live results lap by lap would be pleased by the outcome. Drew Kolodge, in his first official track 10,000m, turned out a remarkable time of 29:43.24, almost 45 seconds faster than the NCAA Provisional Qualifying time. The time was also a new school record, besting the previous school record time of 29:46.89 set by Matthew Pahl in 2019.
“Drew has consistently put in a lot of quality work to get himself into a position where record-breaking is possible. We knew going in that beating the record was possible, but with this being his debut at the distance it wasn’t a given. He positioned himself near the front of the race from the gun and stayed there. He took frequent turns leading to keep the pace fast, rewarding everyone in his heat with some fast early season times.” Young said.
Despite this being Kolodge’s first 10,000m on a track, he felt that the school record could be in the cards this season.
“I’ve been eyeing this record for a while now and it feels good to finally get it,” Kolodge said. “We have records that are long overdue to be broken. It’s time to rewrite the record book.”
The Paul Derr Track & Field Facility has been good to Michigan Tech 10k runners as Matthew Pahl’s school record in the 10,000m also came at the Raleigh Relays.
Saturday was the half milers day for Michigan Tech as both Sayen, returning from the 1,500m on Thursday, and senior Jesse Jacobusse took to the track for the 800m.
Jacobusse put on a show in the eighth heat of the women’s 800m running a relatively even split race covering the first lap in 1:05.13 before having a hard close to secure the win by running 2:10.657, just edging out Butler’s Katherine Olsen (2:10.659). Her effort earned her an NCAA Provisional Qualifying time.
“It was an awesome experience to be a part of,” Jacobusse mentioned. “Battling it out for the last 400m was exactly the type of race I was looking for. I was happy with the outcome and looking forward to seeing what happens the rest of the season.”
Sayen placed sixth in the 14th heat after leading the heat through the first 400m in 55.23 and closing in 56.07 to hit his second NCAA Provisional Qualifying mark of the weekend, running 1:51.30.
With the St Norbert’s Early Bird Invite being canceled due to weather, the Huskies will possibly look for options to find another meet early in the season. Tech’s next scheduled meet is slated for Apr. 8, heading to Rochester, Michigan, for the Golden Grizzlies Invitational.