Lucas Van Deventer
The accomplishments from last season sets the bar high for the Springfield College men’s and women’s track and field teams this winter. Last season, three athletes qualified for the National Championships in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Jack Pinho for the men’s team made his second appearance at the national stage for the 1500 meter race and finished at No. 6. Whit DeVaux also competed in the javelin throw last season making that his second-consecutive appearance at the 2018 NCAA Division III Championship and taking No. 8 overall.
On the women’s side, Kristen Madeia qualified for the 800 meter race. In her race to qualify for nationals, she ran her career-best time of 2:12.40. She placed No. 20 at the national competition. Going into the new season, more competitors are ready to make even more appearances. Pinho will be returning to compete in the winter as well as Madeia. DeVaux has graduated and won’t return for the team. The two runners will be leading the pack as others will be forced to follow.
All three competitors left a huge impact on the team hoping to keep the motivation going into the new season. The honor of having Brendan Wilkins as the new full-time assistant track and field coach will provide more support for the team to achieve even more success.
This is an exciting time to see the improvement in the 2018/2019 track and field team. The determination to set standards have reached new heights as the team will look to see progress throughout the season. The goal is for more competitors to be individually monitoring their improvement and ultimately have success.
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Track and field head coach, Mike Miller, and Madeia are ready for the challenge in the new anticipated track and field season. Madeia has proven to Miller that she is in fact, ready to compete.
“She’s an athlete and willing to compete. She is willing to put it all out there and she continues to push herself. You see it day in and day out at practices,” Miller said
Madeia has faced the competition and she will not be scared of the opportunity to run a good time. She is excited to meet her goal that she set for the season.
“In the spring, I qualified for the Division III nationals so I’m looking to hopefully qualify again for indoor in either the 800 meter or the mile,” she said.
Even though the potential is there, she will have to work hard to earn that goal that is important for her. The competition is on for Madeia as she will progress to achieve her goals and be apart of the team comradery. Coming off of the cross-country season, she is looking for a great season in the winter. The more personal records she expects from other competitors, the more she will be successful. The distance runners who competed in cross-country will be ready to build great performances.
“Especially for the distance runners who just came off of the cross-country season, I think we will do very well and we are just ready to build up from there,” Madeia said.
As the players and coaches have their eyes focused on the season, the team remains to have a positive mindset. Many of the competitors have been working full force in practices to get good times and place holdings in their designated event.
“My expectations are high. We had a lot of great performances going into the season. So my expectation is we keep the momentum going and maybe break some more personal records that are bringing people to championships,” Miller said.
The desired goal is more players will qualify for the Division III national championships and get the honor to have more competitors breaking their own record. The inclusive idea with track and field is the individual performances. The individuality for this sport is monitoring their own improvement without the team in order to better the team in the long run.
“The big thing about track and field is the individual sport, but what we are trying to do is create a team comradery,” Miller said.
Not only does it matter for players to perform well, but the team has to come together to support their teammates. The many goals for the team has Madeia pleased. The season opener cranked up last Saturday and many of the Springfield players performed well.
“I think we look good all around in all the events,” Madeia said. “I know talking to a bunch of people after the meet today, a lot of people had personal records.”
The freshmen group this year look focused and ready to follow what the team has left behind in the past season.
“We have a lot of young guys and we’re just really ambitious and ready to go,” freshman JT McMillan said.
Overall, the track and field team looks mentally prepared for whatever comes their way in the winter season.
Photo courtesy of Mike McKenna