The Blueboys and Lady Blues Track and Field teams are off to a great start for the 2014 Indoor season. Four meets are already under the teams’ belts. The Track and Field teams kicked off the 2014 season at Knox College, followed by IC’s Early Snowbird Meet, The Principia Relays, and the IC Jim Green Invitational.
At Knox, Senior Ofuma Eze-Echesi won two events. After that meet, Eze-Echesi said, “I think it was a good meet. According to our coaches, this was a conditioning meet with everybody competing in at least three events. Despite being a training week, everybody looked strong. I am looking forward to the rest of the season.”
At the beginning of every season, the track and field teams set goals for what they want to accomplish for both indoor and outdoor seasons, such as athletes breaking their personal records in events and sending athletes to the national meet.
Eze-Echesi believes that this track team can even go beyond these goals. “Team wise, we already have set goals that I believe we would surpass. Everybody is working hard, and I feel like it is going to be a great season regardless if we meet our goals or exceed them.”
Over the past years, the Illinois College Track and Field teams have made tremendous strides as records kept on getting shattered year after year and having athletes sent to nationals. Eze-Echesi believes the main reason for this success if the closeness of the team.
“This season, we are coming closer as a team. Everybody is supporting each other, and everybody is getting to know each other. We are just one big family and its encouraging and motivating.”
Men’s Coach Mike Brooks and Women’s Coach Rachel Rohn are also excited for this season as well, agreeing with what Eze-Echesi had to say about the team.
Coach Rohn said, “I think that everybody is doing awesome. I think the underclassmen are doing a great job of bringing in personal records. I think our upperclassmen are bringing a lot of talent. [Senior] Ashley Roller will make her mark in the weight; [sophomore] Stacey Sinclair will go far in conference in high jump, even to national rankings. We want to get as many girls in the top three as possible, and surprise the Midwest Conference with as many point scorers as we want to have.”
Coach Brooks has been happy with how the Men’s team has been doing so far this year. Brook’s main philosophy for everybody at each meet is to break their personal record, which is the biggest indicator of how well the team is doing.
“I think the team is off to a great start. We already have 60 PRs as a team in the first three meets. The main returners for this year are [senior] Josh Williams in the mile and the distance medley team. [Senior] Chandler Polyte, looking for big things from him in the pole-vault, [senior] Josh Cox and [senior] Evan Breyley in the throws. [As far as] Juniors, Zach Turner in shot put, Allen Miggins in sprints and hurdles.”
Coach Brooks’ main goals for the men’s Track and Field team is set personal records and to finish as high as possible in the Midwest Conference Meet.
“Our goals are always set us many PRs as we can. We are hoping to best our PR record from last year, which was 387. Our goal is always to finish as high in the Conference Meet as we can. My main goals for everybody are to work hard, have fun, and PR.”
The Women’s Track and Field team finished first at IC’s Snow-Bird Invitational. One record has been shattered by Freshman Rachel Simpson, who broke the Pole-Vault record with a 10-8 vault. Simpson, a transfer from Western Illinois University, transferred to IC for a few reasons: “I love it a lot here at IC. It is a lot smaller and has more one on one attention.”
Simpson says the main reason for her breaking the school record at Principia College was the support of her teammates. “They really boosted my adrenaline, and not to give up on myself”
The Track and Field teams were at it again Saturday, January 8 at one of the three home meets, hosting the Jim Green Invitational, where once again many athletes performed well and achieved personal records in their events.