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Springfield College mens women and track and field teams compete as Massasoit Classic

A cold, January day caused fans to file into the Field House to watch the Springfield College men’s and women’s track and field teams put on a dominant performance at the Massasoit Classic at Springfield College

The performances from the athletes seemed to click when races and field events were competing. The Pride kept the momentum going for all of the meet even when the opposing teams like Westfield State, Ithaca, Bryant University, Eastern Connecticut, Coast Guard, Mount Holyoke and Trinity College never seemed to let up.

All the events were well represented among the different colleges and the competition was challenging throughout the meet. The competitors were dialed in for their continued effort to set a personal record for themselves in which the team and coaches could be proud of the individual and be built around for the team camaraderie.  

The meet was more about assessing each other and putting the best effort into the competition.

“We want to consider meets as being an evaluation,” Pride head coach Mike Miller said. “The focus is simply focusing on what you are doing and the training will start paying off. It’s about digging down deep and taking risks and letting it pay off.”

The insight this has given for the team is what helped competitors focus on the main goal for them personally. Everyone has set a personal goal and knows what they want to accomplish. As a result of figuring out how to get to the point of achieving personal records, the proof was displayed at the meet. Ten competitors of the men’s and women’s track and field teams finished in the top three for their designated event. One of them was Damian Mackay-Morgan, who is a sophomore at Springfield College.

“Overall, I think the meet went pretty well,” he said. “All across the team for jumps, sprints, hurdles, and throws had a lot of personal records. We did pretty solid for the home meet today.”

The support from the fans and team really helped dictate a successful outing in the field house.

“The influence from the spectators, students, and our peers here really made a difference for us,” Mackay-Morgan said.

Mackay-Morgan ran the 60m hurdles and finished in first with a time of 8.40 seconds and better than his 8.43 seconds at the last meet for the Smith Invitational.

“He just keeps notching that new school record every single time; which is awesome,” Miller said. “When we come out, he is ready for a new school record. He is putting in that hard work that is starting to pay off.”

He is an athlete ready to compete to break more records and continuing to evaluate the process of his dedication.

“Going into prelims I didn’t run the best time so when it came time for the finals I knew I had to attack the hurdles and I thought about the lessons from the coaches and training which really helped me realize to trust the process,” Mackay-Morgan said.

His awareness to realize the process of going out and just putting in the whole effort is the result of his successful performance. His expectations moving forward is to constantly work at a high level.

“Next weekend is all new england so I’m hoping to perform well there and I’m hoping to get my time down to an 8.30,” he said.

The process of getting better times is by continuing for him to work at in slowly in practice to hopefully get that result he wants to get.

The underclassmen of the track team also put in their best effort with great performances. Freshman JT McMillan ran the one mile run finishing in fourth with a time of 4.48 seconds. Emmanuel Amenlemah who ran the 60 meter dash, finished in fourth with 7.20 seconds. Katherine Strain on the women’s side competed in the 60 meter hurdles and finished in first with a time 9.78 seconds.

Also, the sophomore, Taylor Nogiec, competed in long jump with a distance of 4.42 meters. The future is bright for the men’s and women’s track team to have success down the road. Overall, the team brought the competition against well-fought teams.

“We had some high highs and low lows but all of a sudden we have people performing at a very high level. It’s exciting,” Miller said.

At the away event at Boston University, a select few were competing on Saturday. The performance at Springfield College is enforced for the same ending result of breaking personal records. The men’s and women’s teams are looking ahead to the test at All New-Englands to monitor their result and be motivated to give it all they got for more meets to come.       

Featured photo courtesy of Chris Barry

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