Colleen Slattery, Contributing Writer
The men’s and women’s track-and-field teams burned up the track and smashed expectations at the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) championships this weekend at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.
The association of coaches expected both the University of Dallas men’s and women’s teams to finish last. When Coach Matt Buchhorn informed the teams of this fact, they were outraged. They walked onto the track the next day with something to prove—and they delivered. The women’s team captured second place overall, and the men took third.
The women’s team had a day filled with personal records and solid performances across the board. Freshman Emma Polefko ran a personal best time of 13:26 in the steeplechase, cutting 50 seconds from her previous best. Fellow freshman and field-event athlete extraordinaire, Antonella Escarfullery, took second place in the triple jump (It was her first time competing in this event) and high jump, finishing in the top five for discus, javelin and long jump as well.
It was also a successful day for relay teams. The women’s 4×100 relay, consisting of Katie Wisowaty, Michelle DeRoche, Rebecca Basler and Sarah Valdovinos, took home second place with a time of 55.52, and the 4×400 team of Wisowaty, DeRoche, Colleen Slattery and Elizabeth Hinchley ran a season’s-best time of 4:33.
The men’s team broke records left and right. In just his second time to run the race, freshman Austin Strain broke the school record for steeplechase with a time of 10:42. Senior Matt Barber continued his streak of success, taking second in conference for the 400- and 200-meter dashes for the second straight year.
“Matt Barber is basically the Kevin Durant of our conference. He just keeps getting second,” quipped fellow senior and mid-distance star, Clinton Heyer. Heyer did quite well himself, rolling across the finish line of the 800-meter run with a time of 1:59, taking third in conference.
Freshman Ryan McAnany ran an amazing 1500 in a season’s-best time of 4:09, taking third overall.
Records fell in the relays as well, as the men’s 4×100 team of Matt Barber, Matt Mayor, Dylan Myers and Garrett Gustafson raced to a time of 44.63, a new school record. The 4×400 relay team of Barber, Heyer, William Remmes and McAnany also broke the school record for the event with a time of 4:30.
At the end of the day, the athletes were exhausted, but exhilarated—they had proven that the University of Dallas should not be taken lightly. In the end, it came down to hard work and the excellent coaching of Matt Buchhorn.
Watch out for this team next year; there are only more good things to come!