Many athletes begin their season with high aspirations, dreaming of doing their best, breaking personal records and making school history.
This season, the University of Dallas Track and Field team wasted no time dreaming. For their first meet, the Crusaders headed to Tyler, Texas, to compete in the East Texas Prairie Dog Time Trials.
The women’s track team broke the school’s record for the Women’s Distance Medley Relay (DMR) with a time of 13 minutes and 39.06 seconds.
The four women who accomplished this monumental feat were senior Emma Polefko (1200 meters), junior Katie McIntyre (400 meters), freshman Clare Basil (800 meters), and freshman Bridget Kennedy (1600 meters).
“Watching everyone run their race, you could see how hard they had worked the past four weeks,” Polefko said. “When we all got together at the end and ran up to Coach, he told us we beat the record by 20 seconds.”
Knocking 20 seconds off a school record came through a combination of hard work, updated coaching strategies, and new teammates.
Head coach Matt Barber changed his training methods for the season’s opening.
“For the sprinters, rather than working endurance, we began focusing purely on technique and acceleration in order to develop their top speed,” Barber said. “Also, many freshmen and sophomores joined the team this year, which expands the scope a little bit.”
One such example of these new runners is freshman sprinter Will McEvoy, who excitedly shared his thoughts on beginning his first track season.
“Being a part of this team has been a great experience so far,” McEvoy said. “I think I can speak for all of the freshmen on the team when I say that the upperclassmen have been very welcoming to us.”
McEvoy’s high spirits reflect how community has become central to the team’s success.
“Working with this team everyday is the best part of being here at UD, in my opinion,” McEvoy said. “The team has a fun and competitive spirit that brings us all together and creates an awesome environment.”
Energized by their early success, the team looks forward to an exciting season. They will be travelling to San Antonio, Texas, next weekend to compete at Trinity University.