The women’s track and field team was represented this past weekend in Naperville, Ill. at North Central College. Sophomore Amanda Martin and junior Gabby Gaudreault both competed in the NCAAs for the first time.
Martin showed off her skills in the triple jump. She finished 10th out of 15 participants. Even though her distance of 36-8.25 (11.18m) wasn’t good enough to reach the top, her qualifying score (11.6) was impressive enough to get her to Nationals.
Martin may not have finished as high as she would have liked at the event, but she was still pleased with her performance.
“I am very pleased,” Martin said. “I could have gotten All-American but I still had three solid jumps.”
Martin’s teammate, Gaudreault, also showed why she belonged on the big stage. Gaudreault ran the 800-meter event in 2:20.60. Her time on Friday unfortunately wasn’t enough to let her move on to Saturday. The native from Leominster, Mass. first qualified for NCAAs with a time of 2:13.96.
Just like Martin, Gaudreault didn’t have her best performance, but was pleased to get the chance to compete.
“I’m very happy I even got there,” Gaudreault said. “I could have done better and ran smarter.”
The atmosphere of the NCAAs is designed to be the top-notch event of the year. Martin expressed how much different it was from regular meets during the season.
“There was a lot better competition. The whole experience was different with a big crowd and a lot of supporting,” Martin added.
Martin and Gaudreault knew that they also had each other for support throughout the whole competition.
“Amanda was always reminding me why I was there,” Gaudreault said.
Preparing for such a big stage called for no change at all. Both competitors didn’t really alter much of their game plan from how they prepared throughout the season. Having the same workouts and staying fresh was the main recipe.
The ladies both had similar goals at the beginning of the indoor track season. Both wanted to make Nationals. The fact that they accomplished that is a victory in itself. Although they did not achieve All-American, they still have the outdoor track and field season right around the corner.
Martin is looking ahead to another successful slate with the triple jump.
“I am looking to make Nationals again in outdoor,” Martin said.
With Gaudreault starting the 800-meter race just last year, she is confident in the goals she has set.
“I want to make Nationals and get All-American [in outdoors],” Gaudreault said.
Gaudreault and Martin have proved that they can compete at the big stage. Now with a little experience under their belt, who knows what kind of success they could have for the future.