After last year’s successful indoor track and field season—with three qualifying athletes for the NCAA championship— the team is looking forward to the up-coming season with the first meet taking place on Saturday, Dec. 9.
In reference to taking fifth place at last year’s GLIAC Championship, coach Jenny Ryan commented, “[That was] the best we’ve done in years, and I think we are going to move up this year even from that.”
The track and field team members have been training all fall for their events; they have recently been split up into practicing for their individual events, though they began with a basic training period. The distance runners just finished with cross country in the fall, but many of them are taking a recovery break before joining the competition in January.
“I’m definitely excited for the year just to see what we can do, and to see if we can get as many (or more) kids to the championships [as well as] move up in conference this year,” Ryan said.
The team is almost entirely comprised of the same individuals, though they lost one of their All-American athletes, Jasmine Williams. To be considered an All-American athlete, an individual must first qualify for the National Championships, which only accepts between 16 and 18 athletes for each event in the entire country. Of these athletes, only the top 12 receive the title of All-American; however, according to Ryan, returning athletes this year are stronger and more fit.
Sophomore Katelyn Smith, who recently competed in the National Championships for cross country, notes that she is really excited to race, travel and compete with the team.
“It’s really fun because we all cheer for each other. We’re all nervous, and when we get out there, we all know that feeling, so we’re just all in it together.”