by Tiara Pajimola
The women’s team came away with the overall win against the men in the annual intersquad Crimson vs. Black track meet last Friday. The teams had a late start at the Pine Bowl due to the harsh weather conditions that the Bucs endured. Head Coach Toby Schwarz shoveled and swept snow and puddles of water off of the track so the meet could begin. Despite the cold air, freezing wind and sideways rain, encouragement and support was still at a high.
“We usually have a ton of encouragement across the board, but this meet the ladies were especially working their tails off to beat the guys,” senior captain Stephanie Barrong said.
The weather wasn’t ideal for an outdoor meet but it didn’t affect the effort.
“I am very proud of our team for this,” said Barrong. “With this mentality, we can lean on each other for our training and together take home a conference championship.”
For the women’s team, the season holds high standards.
“Our expectation is to be better than we were last year,” Schwarz said. “Our goal is to win conference and we are completely capable of that with the talent we have.”
The Crimson vs. Black Meet is different in that it’s an intersquad competition between the men and the women. It’s a different atmosphere and they depend on volunteers to support this meet. There was a teammate at the start who took the competitor’s layers that they stripped down and carried it to them at the finish line. There was a group of student volunteers serving as the official timers and Schwarz took the role of the starter. This kind of involvement serves as a factor in the purpose of the annual Crimson vs. Black Meet.
“This meet helps with team building,” Schwarz said. “It also gives an opportunity for those who haven’t competed yet to get times or marks.”
The event was only a partial meet so only those who were competing in certain events got their marks. It would have been tougher to run an entire meet with the small group that they had and the daylight that they were running out of. The events that were included were the 800, 100, 400 hurdles, 1,500, 200, 5K, 4×200 relay, triple jump, discus, hammer and javelin.
Senior Captain Shannon Winant talked highly of his teammate’s performances last Friday.
“We had some huge marks in throws,” Winant said. “Chase Wright threw 211 feet in the javelin, which could be top 10 in the nation if the marks counted.”
The goals of the men’s team are set high seeing as they are the three-time defending conference champions. With marks like Wright’s this early in the season, it’s natural to consider the possibility of another conference title. Schwarz readily says that it is an expectation for the men.
“We’ve won three years in a row,” Schwarz said. “Our goal is to do better in nationals.”
Taking fifteenth at nationals last year, this season the Bucs are trying to break into the top four teams. In order to do this it’s going to take hard work.
“It’s not just about going to practice everyday and just going through the motions,” Schwarz said.
Schwarz reflected on the fact that although this meet is for the team to become closer and get season marks, it is still business.
“This meet evaluates athletes kind of like a tryout for who is traveling to Seattle [this] weekend.” Schwarz said.
Each meet stands as a platform for personal bests and marks that could be good enough to make an impact at conference as well as nationals. 58 competitors will head over to Salem, Oregon to compete in the Willamette Open this Saturday, March 1, to represent the Pirates. Other competitors will travel to Seattle for the UW Last Chance Indoor Meet starting at 6:00 p.m. Friday hosted by the University of Washington for a last opportunity to qualify for nationals.
Contact Tiara Pajimola at email@example.com