This past weekend, the Springfield College men’s and women’s track teams pointed the vans east and headed to Boston University for the All New England Championships. For the men’s team, Jack Pinho competed in the 800 meter dash and standout freshman Jacob Buhelt competed in the 500 meter dash. Pinho clocked in at 1:55.88 and Buhelt ran a personal best 1:07.32.
The meet is quite elite and only the best in New England qualify. The meet consists of athletes from Divisions I, II, and III, so there were some nerves, especially for Buhelt, who is just a freshman.
“It was a little intimidating at first. I knew I was competing against division one and two athletes as well as my toughest opponents from division three,” said Buhelt, “But when we got settled in, I was able to calm my nerves and focus.”
Buhelt had run in the 500 meter dash just one other time this year so it was a great accomplishment for him to qualify in an event that he was not particularly familiar with.
“If you [had] asked me if I thought I would be qualifying in the 500 or 600, I would have called you crazy,” said Buhelt.
The women’s team finished in 23rd with seven points. Amanda Martin and Abby Wright paced the Pride in Boston. Martin placed fourth in the triple jump with a career-best leap of 38 feet, 9.75 inches. The senior is currently ranked seventh in the nation for triple jump. Wright finished in seventh in the 800 meter with a time of 2:15.54.
“Words can’t even describe how it felt to hit a career best in triple jump. Being on such a big stage was just an added bonus to that,” said Martin. “It was an amazing feeling to have achieved such an accomplishment after working so hard to do it over the past 4 years.”
Martin also competed in the long jump and placed 13th with a leap of 17 feet, 5.25 inches. Competing in multiple events can be tough and take a toll on the body, but Martin was ready for the challenge through vigorous training.
“In order to keep my stamina up, my coach puts together workouts throughout the week that involve sprints of various distances, some longer than the distance I run on the runway to get my endurance up, and some shorter to improve my speed, as well as jumping workouts that involve various drills, plyometrics, and technique work,” said Martin.
The spring season is right around the corner (yes, there will be a spring 2015), and these teams are taking no time off. Expectations are high going into the spring and both teams hope to keep up the good work.
“I plan on setting new career bests in both the long and triple jumps and will work towards qualifying for the NCAA championships in both events,” said Martin I understand it will take a lot of hard work and practice but I am willing to put in the work to get the results.”
Up next for both the men’s and women’s team is the ECAC Division III Championships this weekend, Mar. 6 and Mar. 7.