After talking to many members of the track and field team as they look forward to their upcoming season, one thing pervades the conversations as a common theme-the desire for vast improvement over last year.
“Our main goal as a team for the season is always to place higher at conference,” noted senior jumping extraordinaire Rose Tepper.
“We are hoping to improve on last year’s conference finish,” stated Head Coach Jason Fast. “Every other meet for us is a dress rehearsal for the conference meet.”
The team graduated some stellar senior leadership last year and will be looking for both the new upperclassmen and the freshman to fill those holes. Specifically, on the men’s throwing team, the only returning member-at least for the indoor season-is sophomore Spencer Swick from Kimberly, Wisc. Swick, who was a standout freshman for the Vikings last year, is being pushed into a major leadership role.
“Right now, I’m doing my best to fill these roles,” he said, “but I’m looking forward to [fellow teammates, sophomores] Nick Craker and Beth Hoster returning to help in the leadership role during the outdoor season.”
The 2013 track season marks the final season for two of Lawrence’s most decorated current athletes. Seniors Tepper and Sam Stevens will hit the track one last time to defend titles and lead the team forward. Tepper, who has previously been a qualifier for the Division III National meet and currently holds the Lawrence University record for the high jump, will be looking to get back to the national meet and improve her record.
“Working on the consistency of my approach and the strength of my take-off will be key factors in achieving this goal [of qualifying for the national meet],” she noted, “but I am confident in my abilities and am very eager to get the competition started.”
Stevens too has several Viking records to improve upon, including the indoor mile and 3,000m run. Last year, Stevens came within seconds of qualifying for nationals in the steeplechase, and is hoping to rebound from that and qualify.
But the senior leadership would be nothing without a strong freshman class, and everyone is excited about the prospects.
“I am very excited to see what our freshman can offer to the throwing team, and the whole team in general,” noted Swick. “They all seem like good kids who want to work hard and do everything possible to help this team succeed.”
Tepper agreed, “We have some dedicated new freshman, and I can’t wait to see how that strengthens our team dynamic.”
In talking with a number of athletes from both the men’s and women’s team, one can easily gather that they have been eagerly awaiting the season and are getting ready to build on last year’s hard work.
Tepper put it best when she said, “Staying determined, disciplined and working hard will allow for a fantastic season.”