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Outdoor track & field strides toward successful season

by Shelby Toth - News Editor
Tue, Apr 3rd 2018 08:00 pm
Graduated senior pole vaulter Josh Steinman (above) gets over the pole with great execution during last year's NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championship.
Graduated senior pole vaulter Josh Steinman (above) gets over the pole with great execution during last year's NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championship.

The College at Brockport’s men and women’s outdoor track and field teams began their seasons on March 31 with the Geneseo Early Season Invitational. Both teams had good showing, placing highly in numerous events.

On the women’s side, sophomore Satin Holmes, sophomore Molly Scarpello, junior Cynthia John-Ogam and senior Taryn Prutsman collectively took first place in the 4x100 meter relay. Prutsman also took fourth place in both the 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash. Three of the top 10 finishers for the 3k meter steeplechase were Golden Eagles as well, including freshman Makenna Bleier in seventh, senior Lauren Bates in eighth and sophomore Megan McIntyre in ninth. 

As for field events, the Golden Eagles took third and eighth in long jump, with junior Lisa Huynh and junior Kathleen Iriwin placing respectively. Senior Victoire Kothor continued to dominate the shot put coming off of the indoor track and field season, throwing another first place shot. Junior Claire Fisher also finished second in the pole vault with a height of 3.37 meters.

For the men, three finished in the top five of the 10k meter run. Junior Andrew Davis took first, freshman Gerard Connelly took fourth and junior Dylan Brickner took fifth in the race. Freshman Rutchlor Louis was another top finisher for the Golden Eagles, taking home first in the long jump event. Freshman Liam Mooney earned fourth in the high jump with a leap of 1.81 meters. For shot put, freshman Anthony De Young placed first with a throw of 15.11 meters and sophomore Christian Johnson placed fifth with a 14.15 meter throw. 

Track and field is a unique sport in the college, as many of the athletes go directly from indoor season to outdoor. In fact, March 9 marked the last day of indoor track with the NCAA Championships. With the transition being so close, a mental transition needs to be made, mainly to adapt to the sporadic Western New York weather. 

“The only major transition from indoor to outdoor is honestly getting used to the fresh air again,” Davis said. “In terms of the actual training, we just maintain progress that is started during the indoor season since we consider it all one long season.”

As for other aspects of meet preparation, some things just don’t change. Similar mindsets come with each passing season. These mindsets are what drive the athletes to compete how they do, and they vary person to person.

“My mindset for the season is one thing: personal improvement ...” Johnson said. “I personally believe the best way to achieve goals is by making small progress every day. Whether that comes from getting stronger in the weight room or getting my technique one percent better. Progress is progress.”

Bates has a different, more team-focused mindset going into the new season.

“My mindset for the season is to enjoy every minute of my last season as an athlete and to support my teammates in every way that I can,” Bates said. “There are a lot of seniors on the team that have put so much dedication into improving this program, so I really hope we can finish on a great note! I also can’t wait to see where the program goes in the future to really see how we all helped to make our team better.”

Another important aspect of getting ready for any game or event an athlete may take part in is the mental prep beforehand. Again, it’s a different process from one person to the next, as each take the steps they find necessary to find their rhythm before they even step on the playing ground of their respective sport.

“I personally like to visualize my race in my mind and watch videos of professional runners run my same race,” Bates said. “I try to think about every situation that may occur on the track to mentally prepare for my race. Then when it is my time to race, I get nervous stepping up to the starting line, but once the gun goes off, I have complete clarity.”

For Johnson, an almost week-long process is his method of choosing to prepare. He details his plan six days out from a race, starting with watching film from his previous competition and discussing goals for the week with on his coaches, Ed Jaskulski. He then takes the day to relax before jumping back into the practice grind for the next five days, taking him to the day of the meet.

“When the competition is about to start I make sure I get in the zone, whether that is by using mental imaging to think about my techniques or listening to some good music,” Johnson details. “When my name is called, I step into the circle and I compete.” 

The outdoor track and field season will continue on April 5 at Messiah College, where the Golden Eagles will compete over two days.

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