By Lucas VanDeventer
Track and Field Beat Writer
SPRINGFIELD — The way the Springfield College track and field teams have been competing puts them in a very comfortable position for a successful end to the winter season.
Pride head coach, Mike Miller, sees how much progress there is after every meet.
“We are trying to catch the lightning in a bottle again,” he said.
That mentality is exactly how this season has gone for the men and women. The athletes have come out ready to continue progressing in their performance over and over again. The confidence has not gone unnoticed as everyone is looking to always beat their personal record. Throughout the season, athletes have been reevaluating their top performances to adjust where it is needed for better results.
“We have been on a streak with meets where every single meet, people are qualifying for Division III nationals which is what we are trying to go after,” Miller said.
These results only setup for excellence and it is earned with great performances and a great environment to be in. The progress that people have been making can really be seen in the athletes for track and field.
All of the events up and down the teams have really put their best foot forward to strive for improvement and consistency. There are no events that have been underestimated in that every event has impressed the coaches.
“It’s literally across the board,” Miller said. “We have had distance runners running close to school records, hurdlers breaking school records, seven or eight high jumpers qualifying for Division III’s, triple jumpers are in place to qualify for nationals, and sprinters and throwers are all qualifying. That is exactly what you want.”
Miller seems to be pleasantly happy about the way event groups have gone out to compete and evaluate their performance after every meet. The question is, why are they performing so well? What does it take to consistently compete at a high level for their event?
The athletes have been working hard to see their weaknesses in training to be ready for the actual meets.
“We are into the point where people are really starting to buy in to the training, their trusting the process, and their trusting each other,” Miller said. “We spend a lot of time in an environment and getting to know each other.”
Not only are the qualifications for individuals important, but they are also getting their best results for their teammates by pushing themselves harder everyday. Even though track and field is an individualized sport, the whole team has tried to turn it into a sport for each other. When the competitors want to qualify for their own reasons, they do it to push each other in a point of pride for what they do at Springfield College. The whole teams has to come together to work and trust what they have been working on in training.
The men and women only want to get better. They want to look at where they can see the most opportunity for better results. The technique and form that people used in the beginning of the season was a measure of placement that people were at in their designated event.
“We went really hard in making sure after every single evaluation, we came back and we worked on something different,” Miller said. “We evaluated for many meets. For the first time, this weekend is considered our first meet. So, whatever we learned, we have to make sure we take our training and put the competition edge into it.”
The previous meets for the team were not to be looked at as an actual meet. Instead, it was an evaluation. The evaluation helped with the process of understanding where every competitor is at and working on techniques that display a better result of improvement.
For the upcoming weekend, the men and women track and field teams will go out to compete on Friday at the FastTrack National Invitational in New York and Saturday at the Dave Hemery Valentine’s Invitational at Boston University. The outlook for the team looks remarkably bright. The Pride have competitors all across the team who finish with personal records and face the challenge to always improve on something different.
They find where they need work and trust each other to perform at their best ability. Everything goes right when it works right. The fans need to be prepared for the next time the Springfield College Pride come back home and compete to watch them in action on February 16 at the Triangle Classic.
Photo courtesy Chris Barry