Track and field creates cohesion in preseason

Britney Dixon, Managing Editor

After two Commonwealth Coast Conference championship victories last season, Head Coach Sean Livingston holds his hopes high for this upcoming season.

The season starts on Friday, March 22 at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Mass.

Track and field has a longer preseason than most spring sports, which to some seems like a negative.

“I think it’s hard for everyone knowing we don’t have a meet for a while,” Livingston said.

This allows them more time to train before their competitions begin after spring break and it also gives them time to establish chemistry.

Across the two teams — split almost evenly by gender — there are around 60 athletes. One of the teams’ goals since November has been to know every teammate by name. In the past, according to several athletes, this has been particularly difficult due to event groups practicing separately.

“This year’s team may not be the biggest in numbers, but overall we seem to be a better team,” Livingston said. “It’s hard to judge where people will be based off what I see in the field house, but I know we’ve got some talent.”

So far this season, the teams had group workouts at practices, including a guest.

Mike Silva is a personal trainer and physical therapist that works directly with track and field athletes to get them in the best shape possible. He teaches his athletes how to stretch properly, perform a dynamic warm-up and get ready for practice.

In order to create this cohesion, the team worked to get to know 10 freshmen. According to senior captain Kylie Hofhaug, the most important thing for these freshmen to understand going into their first collegiate meet is that struggling is natural in competition.

“Most of us have had two, three or four years of collegiate experience, so we work to bring [the freshmen] together to learn that those meets we have in the beginning are good to gauge where we’re at,” Hofhaug said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman or a senior — there’s always off days — there’s always time to get better.”

Both teams know that to repeat their successes from last season, everyone needs to put forth their best effort at all practices. To promote this, Assistant Coach Renae Cicchinelli and the captains started awarding standout practice performers.

“It’s an added incentive to influence everyone to work hard,” said Hofhaug. “It’s a reminder that their efforts are being noted and continuing to strive to reach that goal each day will help them reach their end of season goals.”

The Hawks only have five competitions before their conference championship. Until then, a lot of work has to be done to stay on top of the opposition.

“I think both teams have the potential to be better than last year,” Livingston said. “If we can keep people working hard, keep them healthy and get cooperation with the weather, it’s going to be a good start to the season.”