Track Starts Season Strong

by Holly Brown
Staff

The frigid wintry weather might be keeping most of Transylvania students from donning their jogging shorts, but the men and women’s track teams have already run into a successful beginning for the 2010 season.

At Anderson University's Raven Invitational last Saturday, sophomore Betsy Heines, front, finishes fifth in the mile. First-year Barbara MacNeill, who secures a seventh-place finish, follows Heines.

Transy opened the indoor season last Saturday in Anderson, Ind., at a meet hosted by Anderson University.

In the words of Head Coach Jason Moncer, Transy “had a lot of great performances for the first event of the season.”

For the pioneer men, first-year Shelton Burruss finished fourth in the 55-meter dash; first-year Ryan Stockdill finished seventh in the high jump; sophomore Aaron Carrithers finished sixth in the 200 dash; and the men’s 4×400 relay team finished seventh overall.

On the women’s team, first-year Ria Keegan finished fourth in the 400 dash and fourth in the triple jump; sophomore Betsy Heines finished fifth in the mile; the women’s 4×400 relay team finished fifth overall; and the women’s 4×200 relay team finished sixth overall.

The fact that the teams have never competed in indoor track before adds noteworthiness to these results.

“We’re also starting this year earlier than we did last year, competing in the indoor season so that when we come to the outdoor season we already have some experience under our belts,” Assistant Coach Dr. George Kaufman said.

This is also only the second year that Transy’s team has been up and running. After decades of no Pioneer participation in the sport, Moncer was hired by the university and has since revitalized Transy’s involvement in the sport. Moncer previously coached track for several years at Model Laboratory School in Richmond, Ky.

While just getting a team together again is a big step for the university, Moncer is looking for improvement, and so far he’s not been disappointed.

“This year versus last year is already tenfold better,” said Moncer.

According to Moncer, a large part of the program is setting goals for each athlete and then working to meet them. The benefits of this type of training have been striking to first-year Ria Keegan.

“Everyone works really hard, and we all have fun at the same time. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season; I think the team has great potential,” Keegan said.

Sophomore Liz Dauer said, “The team is doing a great job this season preparing ourselves on the track and in the weight room. … I think by the time conference comes around we will be ready!”

The women’s team has 17 athletes and the men’s has 19. Both teams are primarily composed of sophomores and first-years.

Moncer feels confident that between recruitment and the maturing of current members, the team will see great improvement over the next few years.

Likewise, Kaufman is also enthused about this year’s younger team.

“I’m excited to see how this year turns out,’ he said. “Our team is younger and even more dedicated than they were last year. We have some great returning athletes in addition to everyone who is new.”

Sophomore Betsy Heines is approaching the 2010 season with optimism and enthusiasm, too.

“I can’t wait to see what we will accomplish this season,” Heines said. “I also can’t wait for it to stop snowing so that we can start practicing outside.”

This Saturday the team will compete in another indoor meet at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. The indoor season runs until March and the outdoor season will pick up in late March and run until the end of April.

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