After a second-place finish in conference last spring, teams prepare for 2014 season
Colleen Slattery, Sports Editor
Coach Matt Buchhorn, head cross-country and track and field coach, recently shared with The University News his pre-season estimations for the track and field teams this upcoming spring semester. Coming off of a second place finish in the SCAC track and field conference last year, as well as a third place finish at the USCAA national cross-country championships, has made him hopeful about the new season.
Q: I know that it is early on and hard to tell, but what is the team looking like for this upcoming semester? Any big game changers?
A: We are looking for a great improvement on the women’s side this season. We have some solid freshmen this year, especially in the 100-400 meter events; Katie McIntyre, Elizabeth Depew and Bailey Libscomb will play a big part in building solid relays and bringing a very competitive team into the conference meet. We are also looking for freshman Katie McIntyre to have a solid performance, not only on the conference level but making a run for the national championships.
Q: What are some of your goals or expectations for this upcoming season?
A: Our goals grow and change each year. We want to build upon our success and continue to grow the program. We are always looking to continue to set new school records and personal bests, but we also look to become more competitive within our conference and hopefully make another run at making it within the top three teams at the conference championships.
Q: University of Dallas track and field and cross country have gained attention within the past year or so for their impressive finishes and performances; why do you think they have been so successful?
A: I believe the biggest contributing factor to the cross-country and track teams’ success is the change in culture within the program. We are much more dedicated, and we challenge ourselves to be better each and every time we compete. If we can continue to work hard and build a tradition, we will lay the path for the upcoming team and show that being part of the University of Dallas athletics department is an amazing opportunity.
Q: How is coaching cross country different than track for you? Obviously the events are different, but do you also have a different mindset or philosophy regarding each one?
A: Cross country and track are [very] different. The main reason is that in cross country you have a group of kids that are all running the same event; they practice together, and they compete in each meet together. When we get into track, we have multiple events, and it is no longer just a distance event, but jumps, throws and sprints. The philosophy is still to be competitive and to be the best team out there, but with such a diverse team we have to be strategic and use our talents in the best way we can to be successful.
Q: Which do you prefer – track or cross country – and why?
A: Cross country will always be my first love. If you have not run cross country, it is hard to understand the bond that a team shares. You are a family, and you put in countless hours and miles of training to prepare for one chance to prove yourself. That is a feeling that gives you a rush and such a sense of accomplishment when you are a part of that team. On the other hand, track is just as rewarding to be part of, because you are relaying so many different personalities and attitudes to come together and compete for the best of the team to be successful. And if you can find that synergy among each other and build a team, that is something special in itself.