This year’s women’s indoor track team is taking a different approach to the season. In previous years, the team had a lot of athletes, but only a few ever scored points for the team. This year, the women are going with quality ? not quantity.
According to coach Barbara Hartwig, she has 35 to 40 athletes “that will get the job done.” Her squad will include a solid mix of newcomers as well as returnees.
“Our girls have put a lot of time into their off-season training and it has shown already,” Hartwig said.
The team will look for improvement on the short-distance and long-distance sprints from last year’s season. The department, lead by senior Sue Mayo and Ashley Ellms, experienced a weaker season last year due to the lack of runners.
After an off-season of recruiting, Hartwig thinks that she has a group that can run with the best of them. “We brought in a bunch of freshmen, and the attitude of the group has definitely improved.”
Junior Liz Conway will once again anchor the team in the 55-meter hurdle event. After her strong 2000-2001 campaign, she will return with some added difficulty from her opponents as well as new competition from her own team.
Once again, the strong point of the team will be the mid-distance and long-distance team. Coming off an impressive cross-country season, these women are ready to go. The team will use the momentum of a top 10 finish at the National Collegiate Athletic Association meet to help fuel them through the indoor season.
In the field events, the throwers will be led by returning senior Megan Sullivan. She will control the pits with a new squad of freshmen.
In other field events, the Yellowjackets will be very competitive because of their talent as well as their depth. Senior Robin Metcalf and junior Erin Bank will once again battle it out in the pole vault.
Last year, these two each broke the school record numerous times in this event. Currently, Metcalf and Bank’s pole vault record is 2.51 m.
One event that is going to be somewhat new to the Yellowjackets is the pentathlon, to be held in late February. “We have never really had somebody totally concentrate on this event, but some freshmen have already shown talent.”
The team’s first meet will be the Cornell Relays, to be held Dec. 1. However, the whole team will most likely not be in full force until after the winter vacation when they take on the heart of their competition.
“I know we are not a huge team, but we have a lot of talent which means a lot of success,” Hartwig said.
Johnston can be reached at email@example.com.