By Carley Crain
For the first time in 651 days, the Springfield College men’s and women’s track teams hosted their first indoor meet at home. The Pride competed against American International, Westfield State, Union, Sage, Brandeis, Lasell and Rhode Island College (RIC).
Indoor track is often a hard transition for athletes because of the cold weather and the lack of oxygen in indoor track facilities.
“Indoor track is difficult to adjust to sometimes due to the tight turns and stuffy air but proper preparation has smoothed those transitions, explained junior Aidan Harmer when asked about moving into a different season. “The adjustment so far has been better than expected due to the support of the coaches and all members involved.”
Both the men and women were dominant in the field and sprinting events, which has historically been what they are the strongest at. This season, the “Bomb Squad” — as they call themselves, a nickname that the group has had for years– has added some new talent with a mix of impressive first-year students.
Mackenzie Gingras and Katelynn Taylor finished second and third respectively in the shot put, and will be key factors moving forward in the field events for the Pride.
Upperclassmen Lily Gould and Christa Carr have been dominant field event student-athletes for Springfield the past few years. Carr began her season with an 11.72-meter throw in the shot put to take first place in the event, as well as Gould placing third with a 13.67-meter attempt. Carr was also recognized by the college and was named Maroon Club Athlete of the Week.
The Pride have also added more depth in the pole vault, as first-years Ella Smith and Jillian Scott jumped heights of 2.95 and 2.96 meters, respectively. Junior Emily Raccana is eyeing the indoor school record this season and had solid attempts at it last weekend. She will certainly be an athlete to watch this year.
Matlyn Gross and Madelyn Vianney have dominated both the long and triple jump for the Pride over the past few seasons and started off this winter strong, as Gross won both the long and triple jump. Vianney finished third overall in the long jump with her 5.13-meter attempt.
Reigning outdoor NEWMAC high jump champion Chloe Dewhurst is competing in her last indoor season for the Pride and started the year off strong with her high jump mark of 1.61 meters. She is hoping to qualify again for Division III Nationals.
On the sprints side, the women showed off their depth, starting with the 60-meter dash, where transfer student Hope Maher and senior Sydney Fackrell took the top two spots, finishing with times of 8.01 and 8.16 seconds, respectively.
Maher and Fackrell also led for the Pride in the 200-meter dash, proving not only their versatility but their excellent endurance as well.
For the longer events, graduate student Rachel Wentnick and first-year Shae Gallagher were the top finishers for the Pride in the 3,000-meter race and the one mile. As the season continues to progress and with more speedy workouts under their belt, expect the longer distance athletes to put up some fast times.
On the men’s side, the Pride dominated in the sprinting events due to the team’s depth. David Cataloni, who has been one of Springfield’s top hurdlers the past few years, had a great start to his season as he placed second overall with a time of 8.92 seconds.
In the short sprints, first-years came away with impressive finishes, as Evan Weber and Micheal Scott had solid races in both the 60 and 200-meter dashes.
For the longer events, the duo of juniors Rece Gobel and Thomas Czerwinski ran impressive times in the 600-meter dash, with Gobel winning in 1:24 and Czerwinski following right behind him in 1:26. Gobel has proven to be one of Springfield’s top mid-distance runners and has a great amount of strength and endurance.
Senior Russell Allen had an impressive race in the 3,000 meters, as he ran a huge personal best of 8:58 and placed first overall in a field full of talent.
In a recent Strava post, he wrote about how this is just the beginning for him. “Once I get the legs back up to speed we are going to be dangerous,” Allen said.
After a collegiate career plagued with injuries, junior Aidan Harmer ran his first-ever indoor race and won the mile in 4:39. Harmer is another solid mid-distance runner for the Pride that has great versatility.
“The first meet was an incredible opportunity for the whole team to get back into racing. The past year has been difficult due to the limited amount of races. Each event had a personal record, qualification mark, or collegiate best,” explained Harmer.
“It has been great to watch the camaraderie of the track team thus far. With such a great turnout at the meet, the track culture is strong at Springfield.”
The field event athletes had a great showing for their first meet of the season. Sophomore Kevin Lee had a huge day in the triple jump, as he came away with a new 54 cm personal best of 13.77 meters and was one of 10 qualifiers for DIII New England’s. Junior Colby Wilson also had himself a day, as he won the triple jump with a 6.84 jump, and is eyeing qualifying for DIII Nationals this season.
Mason Yusko, another first-year standout, won the high jump and qualified for DIII New England’s with his jump of 1.85 meters. For both the men and women high jump is another event where they have a deep roster from all grade levels.
The Pride will continue their indoor season at Tufts on Saturday and are looking to build off of last weekend’s success.
Photo: Lucy Hamilton/The Student