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Back on Track

For the five Lund brothers, it’s one of the few times a year when they can all get together and recall the good old days, eat a home-cooked meal with their retired parents—and see if they can still clear the pole vault bar.

The occasion was the annual alumni track meet on Jan. 22. The Lunds—Rolf, Eric, John, Victor, and Nathan—were among the 50 or so alumni who came to compete against current Cobber athletes on the track and field teams.

According to Eric Lund, the meet provides an opportunity to advocate for fitness later in life.

“We’ve come out here to show that this is a lifelong sport,” Eric Lund said.
Women’s track and field coach Marv Roeske said that although the meet doesn’t attract very many alumni, they still have a good turnout every year.

“If you’re an alumni [sic], it’s an opportunity…a golden opportunity to come back,” Roeske said. “Some of them get sillier than others.”

Men’s coach Garrick Larson agrees. He said that the meet is a chance for the current teams to get warmed up for the rest of the season in a light-hearted atmosphere.
“It’s mostly just for fun,” Larson said.

To foster the spirit of friendly competition, the athletes were split into three teams: maroon, gold, and alumni. Current athletes from the men’s and women’s team competed together on co-ed teams, and many wore face-paint to show their pride.

Freshman Caitlin Daggett said that it’s nice to have a low-key start without the stress of later meets.

“It’s our first meet of the season,” she said, “and it’s nice not to have all the pressure of the regular season.”

According to Roeske, the meet is more relaxed than a normal meet in other ways too. Atheletes are not required to compete in their regular events, and non-conventional events such as hurdle relays are included in the meet’s line-up.

“It’s a dress rehearsal for the season,” Roeske said. “It’s more like a play-day atmosphere.”

Freshman Chris Ludwig said that he thinks its good for the alumni to stay in touch with their old team.

“For them it’s more a like a chance to see if they’ve still got it,” he said.

Rolf Lund says that seeing if they “still have it” isn’t much of a problem.

“It’s like riding a bike,” he said.

For Larson, the most important part of the alumni meet is the alumni themselves. Larson, who began holding alumni meets 18 years ago, maintains regular correspondance with most track and field alunni, even collecting their Christmas cards and keeping lists of their current phone numbers and addresses.

“They’re the heart of the school,” he said.

The Lund brothers, who attended Concordia throughout the 1960s and ‘70s, graduated before Larson arrived. Still, according to Victor Lund, they almost never miss an alumni meet.

“We really appreciate the opportunity to do this,” he said. “Our only regret is that more alumni don’t show up.”

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