The men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams both placed second at the St. Lawrence University Indoor Classic on Saturday, but the meet results were not as important as the progress the teams made.

“We have a system where we want to do well at each meet along the way, but our overriding goal is to prepare everybody for the end of the season,” women’s coach Barbara Hartwig said. “We’re trying to have a really logical system that’s going to help an athlete perform well down the road and not get them injured or sick or tired.”

That system could pay off when UR returns to St. Lawrence for the New York State Conference Championships Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22 and 23.

“Last year we scored 12 points and my guess is that we’ll at least triple that,” Hartwig said. “I think the next three weeks are really important for us and you’ll start to see some good performances.”

Despite the emphasis on preparation over results, there were some good performances by both teams in St. Lawrence.

Seven athletes qualified for the Conference Championships and Hartwig estimates that approximately one-third of the team is currently qualified.

“It’s probably going to take a couple more weeks before we get everybody qualified,” Hartwig said.

Senior Robin Metcalf set a school record in addition to qualifying by clearing 9 feet, 7.75 inches in the pole vault. Junior Liz Conway placed third in the 55-meter hurdles in 9.44 seconds to qualify and finished third in the 400-meter dash in 1:02.38. Freshman Katie O’Brien qualified in the 400 with a second-place finish in 1:02.21.

On the men’s team, junior Daniel Quinn and sophomore Andrew Wunder both qualified in the weight throw with distances of 47″9.75′ and 47″8′, respectively.

Senior Justin Lamon-tagne won the 55 in 8.09 seconds to qualify and also placed second in the 400 in 52.48 seconds. Greg Dusek qualified in the long jump with a second-place leap of 21″1.75′. Dusek also took second in the 200-meter dash in 23.4 seconds and placed third in the 55-meter dash in 6.82 seconds.

UR also had success in the relays as the men and women both won the 4×400 meter relay and the women won the distance medley.

“I’m just very pleased with the team,” Hartwig said. “They’re working very hard. More importantly, they’re working together. If every-body’s going in the same direction, progress goes a lot faster.”

Some athletes, however, have to deal with disappointing results in order to improve for the end of the season.

“That’s something we try to tell them in practice every day, ‘We have a plan for you,'” Hartwig said. “We looked at each athlete and what event they needed in their preparation and that’s the event we put them in.”

Sophomore Erika Wasser-stein is an example of such an athlete. Wasserstein ran in the 1,000-meter run and finished fifth in 3:17.13 even though she will be running the mile or 3,000-meter later in the season

“Erika is coming off a lot of miles from cross country and she doesn’t feel very fast, so we’re working on her speed,” Hartwig said.

“[The athletes] are not always going to run the same thing every weekend. We’re going to put them in the events that prepare them mentally and physically for the end of the season. We want[them] to pick out two or three meets during the season where they’re really focusing on their primary event.”

Most of the Yellowjackets will be focusing on their primary event this weekend at the Syracuse University Invitational, where UR can only enter two people in each event.

“This is one of the meets where it’s a nice track, nice competition and nice facilities and we’ve entered everybody very sparingly,” Hartwig said. “We’re hoping [that will] produce good results.”

Jacobs can be reached at bjacobs@campustimes.org.



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