The Springfield College track team has been led by underclassmen over the course of this Spring season.
Heading into the NEWMAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships, the Pride took on four other teams in the Springfield College Classic last weekend.
The men’s team went on to take first place with a total score of 192.75 points. The group was led by Sophomore Tyler Hansen who took first place in the 200 meter dash with a time of 22.50 seconds. The 4×100 meter relay team consisting of Freshman Joe Gaudreau, Eric Foster, Sophomore Deshaun Dias, and Hansen took first with a time of 42.79 seconds. Freshman Cormac Tolan won the 800 meter run with a time of 1:57.72. Freshman John Cruz continued the dominant performance by underclassmen with winning the long jump by a score of 6.61 meters. The men’s team was rounded out by Freshman Josh Silvester who won the triple jump by clearing 13.73 meters.
The women’s team took second place overall with a total score of 144.66. Junior Kristen Madeia led the women by taking first in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:18.19. Freshman Caroline Hitchcock led the way for the underclassmen by taking first in the high jump as she cleared 1.62 meters. Sophomore Katherine Strain took second in the high jump with a score of 1.59 meters. Sophomore Mikaela LoPriore rounded out the women’s team by winning the shot put with a throw of 11.52 meters.
The development of underclassmen on the team has helped the Pride throughout the course of the year.
One member of this young core is Freshman Willem Van-Zyl
For Van-Zyl, track has always been a family affair.
Hailing from South Africa, track runs through his family due to his father being a pole vaulter for the national team.
Coming out of primary education, Zyl was more into baseball, which he came to Springfield College to play. After getting injured, he wanted to try something else, so he joined the track team.
He came onto the team as a sprinter, which led to him joining a lineup of seven sprinters on the team.
His first year on the team has been a lot of work for Zyl.
“It has been a lot of work with having two seasons back to back because it does not give a lot of rest time,” said Zyl. “We are in gym or on track for four hours a day.”
Though the start of the Spring Season has been rough on the team due to the cold weather, Zyl has found his place on the 4×100 meter relay team and has been looking to improve his times.
Springfield will compete in the NEWMAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Blake Track on Saturday, April 28th.