Track Ready to Make Impact at A-10 Championships

Jonathan Swann – While the beginning of the spring semester has most likely been busy for everyone, the men’s and women’s track teams have been especially busy, already competing at 4 meets. Though not every athlete has run in every meet, the collective effort of both the men’s and women’s team has been extremely impressive. School records and personal records have been falling left and right, and with only one meet left before the A-10 Championships, the team hopes to build on their momentum to finish strong across the board.

Led by a talented core of athletes, both veterans and newcomers, the squad is, according to Walker Mogen ’17, among “the most well-rounded team that Davidson has had in a long time.” From the 200m run to the 5k run (and the relays), to the various field events, the team is looking to place many athletes on the podium come the conference meet. Sarah Sears ’18 commented that “track season is always exciting because we get to combine our team {distance and mid-distance runners] with the sprinters and field events.” With the full complement of athletes, the team is eager to leave a legacy on the track, and already has done so this season. Mogen said honestly, “I’m excited to see what we can do [at conference].”

Both the Men’s and Women’s teams have shown great promise, with record-breaking performances abound on both sides this indoor season. Jada Woods ’20 set a new school record in the triple jump at 11.45m at the Wake Forest Invite while Sarah Sears ’18 broke 5 minutes in the mile for the first time in her career, setting a school record in the process en route to a 4:53:03 at the BU Track and Tennis Center.

Remarking on her performance, Sears said “the Boston track was the perfect atmosphere to break the school record in the mile. It was awesome to get to race on such a fast track with some really good competition.” In addition, Caroline Turner ’17 recorded a new PR in the 5k, crossing the line in 18:04.20, finishing in 7th overall and smashing her personal record by nearly 20 seconds. Caroline Yarbrough ’19 also set a personal best mark in the 5k with a time of 17:11.65, both at the BU Invite.

Senior Captain Hannah Rieden, a contender for an individual title in the 800m, noted that the team is “looking for podium finishes in most events” and that the high stakes meet will require the team “go into the mindset of wanting to win.” For Rieden and the team’s other seniors, the championship is a culmination of 4 years of hard work and one of their last chances to see all their hard work come to fruition.

On the men’s side, the 4x400m relay team of Sean Caveney ’19, Jacob Hostetler ’18 Garrett Nickelson ’20 and George Williams ’20 recently shattered the school record by seven seconds with a time of 3:17:9 at Boston University. Hostetler, Nickelson, and Williams also broke individual records. Williams ran the 400-meter run in 48.52 seconds to break Hostetler’s own record of 49.64 seconds, set last season. Hostetler set a new personal best mark in the same heat, crossing the line in 48.58 seconds. Nickelson broke a school record in the 500m run with a time of 1:04.49, placing fourth overall in the field and besting the school record by over two seconds. On the distance side, Mogen narrowly missed the school record in the 3k with an 8:14.39, a mark that is also currently best in the A-10.

Distance star Will Brewster took the top prize in the mile at the Wake Forest Invite, clocking in with a new school record at 4:11.95. Brewster looks to defend the 5k conference title he won last year but also win the mile and 3k in a few weeks; he’s learned that “the key to winning a championship is showing up hungry with a chip on your shoulder.” Such a mantra stems partially from Davidson’s disappointing finish at this past Fall’s A-10 Cross Country Championships, where the Cats’ placed 7th despite coming in as legitimate contenders for the team title. Brewster acknowledged that “I really just want to do everything I can to help the team finish as high as possible,” and hopes the team can record a top 3 finish.

Overall, according to Brewster, the men’s team is shooting for a top 3 finish and it seems like the women’s team shouldn’t be too far behind. ] Let’s wish our fellow Wildcats good luck as they finish the season out strong. Go ‘Cats!