Runners pace for championship

Senior Johnnie Guy said he is focused on enjoying every moment he has left with the men’s track team.

“It adds a little bit of motivation when it’s your last time to achieve your goals,” Guy said. “I’ll never be able to do this again. I’m trying to take it all in while I can.”

Guy helped set a school record in the distance medley relay this past weekend.

The team, made up of Guy, Chase Broughton, DeAvion Sullivan and Jesse Stanley, finished the relay in nine minutes, 59.92 seconds at the GLVC Conference Championships.

Guy said the team was neck and neck with Lewis University until the end. Lewis finished the race in 10 minutes, 3.30 seconds.

He said Lewis had about five or six seconds on the team when it was time for his leg.

“We knew we were going to be in that situation,” he said. “I was pretty confident I could catch them.”

Guy said he started off a little hard, but he was able to catch the Lewis runner and stay with him until the end.

“It’s a great feeling. Running our relays is a lot of fun,” Guy said. “You get to accomplish that as a group. It felt great to give them a shot to go to nationals and compete.”

Guy said he is glad to see Broughton head to his first nationals competition. Both runners had high praise for each other.

“(Broughton’s) having his best season,” Guy said. “Probably his best season so far.”

Broughton said his biggest focus at the GLVC Championships was doing what he could to make sure the team did well.

He said the relay team expected to break a school record, so it wasn’t too much of a surprise.

“We knew if we were going to qualify, we would need to do that,” he said.

Broughton said Guy is a great leader for the team.

“You know you can always count on (Guy) to step up on when the team needs him,” Broughton said.

Guy said, right now, he is feeling great. The wins at conference were a confidence boost for him and he said he’s ready for nationals.

“I definitely want to win another national title,” Guy said. “This year, it’s going to be harder.”

Guy said the 5k and 3k are faster this year, but he feels like he is more fit than last year.

Broughton said, right now, the team is one big family.

Multiple guys live together and spend time together outside of workouts.

“Friendships are built spending a lot of time together and competing,” Broughton said. “It’s pretty special to have that kind of connection with people.”

Senior Jessica Reeves said the women’s team is also cohesive.

“I absolutely love the team,” she said. “We are always encouraging each other. It’s just a good group dynamic.”

Reeves and sophomore Emily Roberts helped lead the women’s team with a combined 23 points to a sixth place finish at the GLVC Championships.

Reeves said she was a little disappointed with her time in the 5k because she was hoping for a flat 17 minutes.

“I ended up getting passed right at the beginning of the first lap,” she said.

Right now, Roberts and Reeves both have provisional times that could qualify them for the NCAA Division II Championships. Reeves said it’s a small chance her time will end up qualifying, though.

She said there isn’t too much nervousness surrounding the possibility because, right now, she assumes she won’t make it.

“Overall it’s been a good year so far,” Reeves said. “I can’t complain too much.”