The Parkside track & field teams kicked off their 2021-2022 season on Saturday (Dec. 11) at the UW-Oshkosh Early Bird Invitational. The program had a strong showing in the opener, despite only bringing a limited roster up to Oshkosh. The Rangers had 13 personal-best performances by the end of the meet and came away with third-place finishes on both the men’s and women’s team scoreboards. The highlight of the day for the Rangers came from a new member of the program, Victoria Lendal, who is this week’s Kenosha.com Ranger of the Week.
Lendal, a freshman from Denmark, broke the school record in the triple jump with a jump of 10.91 meters (35 feet, 91/2 inches). Her jump passed the previous record of 10.89 meters, which was set by Rachel Bullis in 2013. Despite breaking the school record, Lendal feels she has more in store for the season.
“I’m super excited to have broken the record, but I’m definitely looking to jump further than that,” she said. “My personal best is almost a meter longer than that, so I hope to keep improving so I can jump over 12 meters.”
An early start
Lendal has been competing in track & field for nine years. She got her start learning to long jump at a summer camp and fell in love with it. Three years ago, she started learning to triple jump, and looks to keep improving while she is at Parkside. She uses videos from professional athletes to gain inspiration and learn how to improve her technique.
Coming to America
Lendal left her friends and family in Denmark to come to America with hopes of being able to compete in sports while also focusing on academics. Being able to compete regularly is not as easy in Denmark, compared to the United States.
“You have to organize practice and competitions yourself.” Lendal said. “You are in a club, but they don’t really have any resources to help you if you are trying to schedule everything. You have to do that yourself. Here in the States, it’s different, and I really wanted to experience that.”
Lendal used a recruiting company to be contacted by coaches from American universities, and that gave her the ability to meet with Parkside graduate assistant coach and Belgium native Bo Brasseur, who helped show her what Parkside track & field was all about. Lendal loved the team chemistry she saw within the Parkside program, both on and off the track.
Lendal has not decided on a major yet at Parkside, but she is considering Applied Health Sciences as the focus of her studies. She hopes to one day become a trauma surgeon and help people in need.
Up next for the Rangers
Parkside track & field returns to action on Jan. 15, when they compete at the Carthage Firebird Opener. The Rangers will return to the Petretti Fieldhouse on Jan. 22 for the Lake Michigan Open. For more information, visit parksiderangers.com.
Cheer on the Rangers this winter
With plenty of Parkside men’s basketball, women’s basketball and wrestling on the schedule over the winter, be sure to get to the newly renovated De Simone Arena to cheer on the Rangers. To see all available ticketing options, including access to The Bear Club, visit ParksideRangers.com/Tickets.