This Good Friday, as other students are heading home for Easter, the University of Dallas track and field team will be heading to McMurry University in Abilene, Texas. In their fourth meet of the season, the Crusaders hope to continue an already impressive start.
With five weeks until the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Championship, coach Matthew Barber is impressed with the team’s performance thus far.
“[The season is] going well. They’ve set school records, personal records and established an incredible tone for work ethic,” Barber said.
The track team exhibits an energetic and encouraging team dynamic. Freshman sprinter Simone Loel experiences this dynamic firsthand.
“The team is a lot of fun. I think it’s one of the sports on campus that reflects the spirit of UD. The athletes are really devoted to school but want to have a good time … they try to strike the balance,” Loel said.
Loel is looking to add a new event to her repertoire.
“Right now I’m working on my speed endurance so I can run the 400, which I like better, hopefully later on this season,” Loel said.
Despite their successes, the team is aware that now is not the time to slack. The need for constant improvement is a driving force at this point in the season.
The team is focused on reaching its goals for the season and is willing to put in the work to get there. Freshman sprinter and hurdler Will McEvoy has his sights on this weekend.
“The team is really focused on our upcoming conference meet. Everyone has been really supportive of each other, and it’s a great atmosphere to be in at this point in the season,” McEvoy said.
There are several events and athletes that coach Barber is particularly excited about. The men’s 4×100 meter relay is one to watch for this weekend with the team’s new addition of sophomore sprinter Prince Giadolor.
Another name to watch for this weekend is freshman distance runner Bridget Kennedy, who is making her debut in the steeplechase (3000m run with 28 barriers and seven water barriers).
McMurry is the first meet of the season offering the hammer throw. Both junior thrower Katie Spellmeyer and sophomore javelin and hammer thrower Max Allen are excited to finally get a chance to compete in the event.
The team is ready to test themselves at McMurry and is prepared to take on the rest of the season with a continued enthusiastic outlook.
“Though everything’s gone well up to this point, we must keep up the work, stay focused and attack practice till the end,” Barber said.