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Indoor track and field conclude season in Boston

by Matt Lauster - Staff Writer
Wed, Mar 13th 2019 02:00 pm
Sophomore jump specialist Chanyce Powell sprints down the laneway to the pit during the triple jump event. She earned All-American honors after the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Sophomore jump specialist Chanyce Powell sprints down the laneway to the pit during the triple jump event. She earned All-American honors after the NCAA Indoor Championships.
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If it’s not setting personal records, performing in a championship meet is the ultimate individual goal most track and field athletes strive for. After a long season that started back in the fall, a few selected members of The College at Brockport indoor track team were ready to end the season on a high note at the DIII NCAA Indoor Championships in Boston, Massachusetts on March 8th and 9th.

Unlike other sports, track championships only take the top athletes from specific teams to compete individually instead of as a team. Depending on the athlete, this type of event creates different goals, according to assistant track coach Kylie Ryan.

“For nationals it is a very individualized weekend,” Ryan said. “Everyone has different goals and mindsets about the weekend. The main goal is to make top eight, which earns them All-American honors. The next goal is to set a personal record (PR) and improve upon their marks for the season.”

Despite the team having to travel out-of-state to compete, Ryan did not think it had a negative effect on the players’ overall performances. 

“Travel always has some effect on the team,” Ryan said. “Whether it’s sitting in a van for six plus hours or flying and sitting in an airport during layovers. But we usually leave two days before the competition to allow for a day of rest between traveling and when they compete, so I haven’t seen it affect the athletes much, if at all.”

The six Brockport members chosen to compete in the NCAA Championships were sophomore jump specialist Chanyce Powell, freshman pole vaulter Joe Weaver, senior thrower Jessica Craven, junior distance runner Allison Miller, junior jumper Taj Shaw and junior thrower Anthony DeYoung.

On day one of the championships it would be Powell, Weaver, Craven and Miller all competing in different events. 

In the long jump, Powell had an impressive outing as she secured seventh place after she jumped a total distance of 5.66 meters. This was a personal record for Powell because her previous personal best in the long jump was 5.57 meters. In the 5000 meter run, Miller placed 13th out of 20 total runners with a time of 17:27. In the weight throw, Craven also placed seventh after she recorded a throw of 17.47 meters, breaking her previous personal record of 16.78 meters. Both Powell and Craven were named All-Americans after day one of the NCAA Championships.

On day two of the National Championships, Shaw, DeYoung and Powell took their turns on the national stage. 

Shaw was the first Golden Eagle to compete on day two in the triple jump. He finished 12th after his best distance on the day was 14.25 meters. Another notable Brockport performance came from throwing specialist DeYoung. In the shot put event he finished 15th after throwing a distance of 15.53 meters. 

At the end of the weekend, Brockport had a more than respectable outing with two of its athletes being awarded All-American honors. The weekend before saw the men’s and women’s teams claiming second place in the NCAA Regional competition.

Coach Ryan thought the athletes that qualified for the National Championship meet learned a lot and could transfer their experiences to the outdoor track season.

“The big thing to take away from the NCAA Championships is that you can’t go into the meet with the mindset of doing ‘OK,’” Ryan said. “Everyone needs to know that some people aren’t going to have their best days, even people who are expected to podium. On the day of a big meet anything can happen and you have to go in planning to do your best. One of our athletes went in seeded 18th in the meet and ended up getting seventh and becoming an All-American. So it just shows that if you bring your ‘A-game’ and step up to the challenge anything can happen.”

Following track’s winter season, the men’s and women’s team’s will have some time to rest up before the outdoor track season that starts with the Geneseo Early Invite on Wednesday, March 20. Hopefully the Golden Eagles will be able to set more personal records and send more athletes to postseason play.

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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