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Athletes of the Week: Track & Field’s Erin Womboldt, Diving’s Kenny Pancoast

Billy Peterson
Contributing Writer

Athletes-of-the-Week-feb7Erin Womboldt

Freshman Erin Womboldt has stepped right in and become a big part of the Springfield women’s track and field team. Womboldt, one of 11 freshmen on the roster this year, has received high praise from head Coach Jim Pennington on her early success this season. On Saturday, Feb. 2, Womboldt helped the Pride to a second-place finish in a meet held at Blake Arena. Womboldt finished first in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 9.80 seconds. She also finished third in the long jump with 4.83 meters. Competing in three separate events, (60 meter hurdles, long jump and triple jump) Womboldt has shown versatility for the Pride. She is hoping to contribute to another successful meet this Saturday when the women travel to Boston for the BU Invitational.

Q. What has it been like stepping in as a freshman and being successful so quickly?
A. It has been a surprise to be as successful as I have been so far in the season. The difference in the level of difficulty in practice and the added lift components as a college athlete have definitely made me a better runner and jumper.
Q.What has been the most difficult adjustment you’ve had to make at the college level?
A. The most difficult adjustment I have made has been balancing the higher level of class work with my track and field schedule.
Q. Track meets can be long. What do you do to get yourself ready in preparation for your event?
A. I do three events during a meet, the 60m hurdles, long jump, and triple jump. Normally there is a lot of time in between these events. To prepare for each, I make sure to do a full warm-up and then drills tailored to each event. [I] make sure I keep my muscles warm and loose.

Kenny Pancoast

Springfield College senior, Kenny Pancoast, from Monroe, Conn., has been tearing up NEWMAC competitions. He has earned the conference’s Diver of the Week honors four consecutive times. The Physical Education major has consistently achieved national-qualifying scores in both the one and three meter. On Sunday, Feb. 3, Pancoast finished first in the one meter with a score of 309.45, and third in the three meter with a 325.35. Overall, Pancoast has earned the NEWMAC Diver of the Week honor six times. The team will have a little less than two weeks to prepare for the NEWMAC Championships that begin on Friday, Feb. 17 and continue throughout the weekend.

Q: What has it been like to be named NEWMAC Diver of the Week four straight times?
A. I am extremely honored to have been named NEWMAC Diver of the Week as many times as I have this season. Each one is a huge confidence booster, and lets me know that I am representing Springfield College well.
Q: What is the most challenging part of diving?
A.Diving is a sport that requires a good sense of body awareness, balance, agility and being extremely precise with your movements, which makes it difficult in itself. For me though, the most challenging part is the mental aspect. Depending on what state of mind you are in while competing can have a huge impact on your performance and the way you dive.
Q: How successful do you believe the team can be at the NEWMAC Championships?
A. If everyone dives as well as they have been all season, I would expect the Springfield divers to take all the top positions at NEWMACs.

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