Colleen Slattery, Sports Editor
A small handful of athletes from the University of Dallas track-and-field teams traveled to Lubbock, Texas, this past weekend to compete at the Texas Tech University Indoor Invite.
In this debut meet of the season, after just a week-and -a-half of practice, the athletes got the chance to test their readiness for the season ahead.
Although there is always plenty of opportunity for improvement, the team shows promise, especially on the women’s side. Last year, the Lady Crusaders finished second in the SCAC conference championship, one of the best finishes in school history, and they look forward to performing as well or better this upcoming season.
The women competed mainly in shorter-distance races, a change from last year’s heavily mid-distance- and distance-oriented team. Freshman Katie McIntyre, hailing from New Jersey, finished with a time of 1:04 in the open 400-meter dash in her first track meet for UD.
Returning junior Sarah Valdovinos competed in the 200-meter dash, running a time of 31:94. Junior Danielle Pajak made a splash with her performance in the 800-meter run. Although Pajak has run cross country for UD for the past three years, this is her first season on the track-and-field team. She finished with a time of 2:33.
Pajak commented on the difficulty of racing on an indoor track, saying “I didn’t get as fast of a time as I was hoping for, but considering that I haven’t run the 800 on an indoor track, and it being so early in the season, I’m okay with how I did.”
“I ran the first three-fourths of the race well, but the last 200 meters is where I faded and lost some time. Getting my endurance level up to finish the race stronger is something that I’m going to be working on during the rest of the season,” she said.
The men brought only two competitors to the meet, freshman Barton Holdridge and senior Nick Hedlesky. Holdridge competed on the men’s soccer team this past fall, and on Saturday he competed in the 800-meter run. He proved himself to be a valuable addition to the team, running the race in a time of 2:03. Hedlesky ran the 400-meter dash and finished with a solid time of 56:35.
The Crusaders will compete next week at the Central Oklahoma University Indoor Invite, and this time the full team will compete. Good luck, racing Crusaders!