Track and Field Builds for the Future
Submitted on May 28, 2019
Coach Lucas Garnett is always looking to take another step forward in building a national powerhouse.
In year one of him taking the reins full-time, the Tigers saw their first ever competitors make nationals in indoor, several Top 5 finishes – including the men's team finishing second twice in outdoor, and the most competitors at outdoor nationals.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday Cody Cooper, Maggie Mollak and Emma Bianchi represented Georgetown College with determination, pride and excellence. For Mollak and Bianchi it was the second straight trip to nationals, while the occasion was Cooper’s crowing achievement in an excellent college career.
Mollak finishes her Tiger career as one of the Top 20 nationally ranked for shot put. She didn’t have as strong a day Friday as she would have liked, but she finished with pride.
"Maggie didn't have the day she wanted," Garnett said. "However, she finished 19th and a Top 20 finish is always something of which to be proud.
"In building this program, our throwers have been our early focus and one of the strongest pieces in competitions, especially inside the conference. Maggie has been the backbone of that core over the past four seasons."
Mollak finishes her career holding multiple school records in discus and shot put.
Bianchi found her stride and rhythm in her third nationals – second for outdoor – becoming the second Tiger All-American (finish in the Top 8 at nationals) in the modern era. Her fifth place finish ties the best finish at nationals in an event following the restart of the program.
"Emma's demeanor the few days leading up to her event was confident, yet calm, and I knew she was poised to do something special," Garnett said. "You could see it in her face. She was going to get on the podium.
"All of these women were good, it was just a matter of who stepped up and took care of business. Emma was one of those that did."
On the Men’s side, Cooper got all the energy rolling in the decathlon – a 10 event, two-day marathon to test every skill possible for track and field. Following a school record, by more than 700 points, the senior found himself sitting 19th nationally. The NAIA only takes the top 16 competitors for decathlon.
In his final try before the cutoff for qualifications, the Kentucky native scored 5,859 points, topping his best by 35 and putting him exactly at 16th by seven points.
After the first five events Thursday, he was 14th, but his resolve shined on day two. Cooper posted personal records in 110-meter hurdles and pole vault, while hitting his second best marks in discus, javelin and 1500-meter run. The final result, 11th nationally with a crushing of the GC record at 6,045 points.
"Coop completed three decathlons in four weeks. This is not something I would ever recommend, as the 10 events over two days is the most grueling competition in track and field, but when the senior was sitting just outside the bubble we had no choice," Garnett said. "What he has accomplished the past four weeks is nothing short of incredible. He went from 4,005 points in his first decathlon five years ago to 6,045 points to cap off his career. I have never met a more dedicated athlete than Coop."
All of this excites Coach Garnett moving forward, as he continues to sign quality athletes to round out his Tiger Men's and Women's Track and Field program.