Track season preview

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Sophomore Anna Brunk competes in the javelin throw. Photo courtesy of UD Athletics.

After last year’s promising season, the University of Dallas men’s and women’s track teams look to follow with another successful year. This spring’s team includes a lot of new faces, as UD graduated three male seniors from last year: thrower Marcos Carmona, as well as sprinters Charles Obegolu and Prince Giadolor. The Dallas track members from the women’s team who graduated include throwers Grace Conti and Diana Hassink, and jumpers Helen Onyenso and Shelby Waldron.

“We have our own new sets of personalities [and]  of strengths and weaknesses,” Head Coach Matt Barber said. “Returners will be in a new position of leadership they once assumed was someone else’s responsibility. It is going to be a good season.”

Last year’s season ended with the Crusaders claiming fifth overall on both sides at the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Championships, which were hosted at Texas Lutheran University (TLU).

This year’s returning male runners are: Peter Dinh, Logan Fruhwirth, Isaiah Hayes, Cecilio Huitron, Joseph Kilmer, Kevin McGuirk and Shivam Mishra. Those returning on the women’s side include: Anna Brunk, Hannah Green, Clare Hernandez, Mary Korth, Jules Oliveti and Nicole Zurita.

There are only two seniors on the men’s side for this season: Cecilio Huitron and Kevin McGuirk. The women’s team has no seniors this season, but with nine freshmen coming in, their numbers have greatly increased. Among these nine freshmen are cross-country crossovers Anna Wilgenbusch and Katie Dieteman.

“Historically, we always have had a lot of turnover on the track team, every year I have been here the makeup of the team has been very different each season,” McGuirk said. “This year’s team will be drastically different from last year’s team in terms of experience.”

Because this year’s team will lack experience compared to past years, it will be necessary for the juniors and seniors step up into leadership roles.

“Our team this year is younger and generally less experienced than other teams in recent years have been, and this is not necessarily bad because everyone has to start somewhere,” McGuirk said. “The lack of an experienced core is going to hurt us because there are not many of us to help guide and reassure the underclassmen.”

This lack of experience will likely hurt the Crusaders, making it difficult to replicate the success of the previous year. However, despite their losses, the Crusaders have several athletes who are primed for success this season.

“I think the girl’s distance team will be pretty good, especially Anna and Clare,” McGuirk said. “I think both of them could score points at conference and maybe steal a medal. I think Anna Brunk is going to break the school 400-meter hurdle record this year.”

The Crusaders look forward to start the new season on a high note on Feb. 23 at the HSU Early Season Invite in Abilene, Texas.

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