Athletes of the Week: Johnny O’Hanlon and Talia Loda

Austin Ramos

Staff Writer

Johnny O’Hanlon

Photo courtesy of Springfield College Athletics
Photo courtesy of Springfield College Athletics

The Springfield College Men’s Track team hosted a tri-meet against WPI and Coast Guard on Saturday, placing third. The Pride went into the day with many injured athletes but still had many impressive performances, including a performance from freshman Johnny O’Hanlon. O’Hanlon won the 5000 meter run with a time of 15:51 and recorded the fastest time of any distance runner on the team this year.

Q. What was your race strategy, for the 5K, going into the tri-meet against WPI and Coast Guard? Did the wind change your plan of attack at all?

A. Originally the plan was to run a time that would qualify me for the D3 New England Championship. After realizing how tough it was going to be to run a good time with the wind, I changed the race strategy to just getting the win instead of worrying about time.

Q. You have been on the road to recovery ever since getting injured during the cross country season. How does it feel to finally have a break out performance by setting a personal record and placing first in the 5000 meter run, with a time of 15:51?

A. It felt great to get the win for the team. This season I have been struggling physically, but especially mentally, to get myself on the right path and perform the way I expect I should.

Q. The team has been dealing with many injuries as of late. How important was it, to you, to pick up the slack for the injured athletes and add eight points to the teams overall score?

A. It is really difficult to run knowing that my teammates are injured. But knowing that they are on the road to recovery is motivation that pushes me to do the best I can, not just for those who are injured but also for the whole team.

 

Talia Loda

Photo courtesy of Springfield College Athletics
Photo courtesy of Springfield College Athletics

After starting the season with a 7-13 record, the Springfield College ladies’ softball team is 6-1. Freshman Talia Loda has had a considerable impact on the team’s performance, beginning the season 7-2 as the Pride’s starting pitcher. Two of those wins came from dominant performances against Coast Guard on Sunday, pitching nine total innings and only giving up six hits.

Q. As a pitcher, you recorded two wins in the double header against Coast Guard on Sunday. What do you think was the biggest factor that contributed to the back-to-back victories for your ball club?

A. I think the biggest factor was our team’s defense. The infield and outfield have been making great plays to make sure that no hits get through. We’ve also been hitting the ball really well and getting big hits when we need them.

Q. You guys had a slow start to the season but have started to gain momentum down the stretch, improving your record to 12-14. What is the mindset of the team as you near post season play?

A. Every day in practice we try to make ourselves better. We have to keep working as a team to achieve our goal of winning the conference.

Q. With this being your freshman year, how has the transition from high school softball to college softball been, and how does it feel to be in the starting rotation of a collegiate team?

A. It’s been a little challenging with the transition from high school to college because of the amount of work that has to be put in for school and for softball. It feels good to be on the starting rotation because it’s what I’ve been working hard for.

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