This year’s unpredictable weather has taken its toll on many spring athletes, especially the Gustavus Track and Field Team. As this year’s spring outdoor season comes closer to an end, the team struggles to find time to compete in meets before entering the MIAC Conference meet.
“We have had some good practices, but the weather has taken a lot of the season away. The season is going to be very short. We will have to compact a lot,” Head Coach Dale Bahr said.
Due to the snowy conditions, the team has only competed in three meets, their most recent being last Saturday, April 20, at the Carleton Relays. Both the men’s team and the women’s team finished 7th out of the 10 teams that competed that day.
Despite the weather, the Track and Field team’s spirits remain high, eagerly waiting for the weather to cooperate. The team has remained optimistic and has continued to work hard in preparation for a big push in the MIAC Conference meet.
“We just have to understand that we can’t control the weather. We can adjust and focus on the fundamentals. The attitudes are great and the motivation is still there, we just need to keep that up. Everyone is sticking together. People are anxious to get outside. Once we get outside, things are going to get better. We will be ready. It’s going to be crunch time once we get outside,” Junior Thrower Pat Tracy said.
“ We just have to tough it out and prepare for Conference,” Coach Bahr said.
For Senior Distance Runner Meredith Bache-Wiig, the snow has made training interesting.
“As a distance runner, I am always training outside so the weather conditions have made for some interesting runs. We occasionally have to alter our routes if there is too much snow or ice or water in a given direction but for the most part we just run through it. It’s sometimes difficult to train at the right speed or heart rate when the footing is difficult but I think we’ve been able to overcome the obstacles that the weather has presented us with,” Bache-Wiig said.
Pole vaulting hasn’t experienced too much difficulty with the weather and has managed to still practice indoors during this time period.
“As a team, it’s tough to have an outdoor season, especially since we can’t practice outside. For pole vault it’s a bit easier because we can vault inside. Overall, it’s not too crazy for us. It’s going to be nice when we can get outside,” Senior Co-Captain Pole Vaulter Josh Owens said.
There have been some outstanding performances from individual athletes so far this season. For the men, Senior Thrower Ryan Ness had a 188 foot throw in javelin. Ness is currently ranked first in the MIAC Conference by eight feet. For the women, Senior Ally Voss leads the MIAC Conference in the pole vault.
As the MIAC Conference meet draws near, the team continues to have high expectations on where they will finish. There are also individual athletes on the team who have set high expectations for themselves.
“As a team, I expect us to do really well. We have many team goals for Conferences. Personally, I’m looking to make it to Nationals again and improve off of what I’ve already accomplished,” Owens said.
“We have a chance to win every time. We have a lot of potential points out there to be scored. I have a lot of faith and big expectations for this team. I hope we send at least a couple athletes to Nationals. I’m very optimistic about the team’s potential,” Tracy said.
“We always shoot for top three in the Conference. We were 7th indoors but we are a stronger outdoor team than indoor team. I’m confident we will do well again this year. Our goal is to finish in the top three for men and women. We are looking to go to outdoor Nationals. I would like to see five people or more go to Nationals,” Coach Bahr said.