The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Track and field prepares for Patriot League Championship at Bucknell Tune-Up

The Leopards lead the pack going into the final stretch of a race during the Bucknell Tune-Up. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards)

The track and field team traveled to Lewisburg, Pa. last Friday for the Bucknell Tune-Up. While overall the team struggled, the Leopards had several strong showings from freshmen in different events, something they hope will translate into victory at the upcoming championships. 

Freshman sprinter Roman Conca placed third in the 60-meter dash (6.99) and won the 200-meter dash (22.54). His finish in the 60-meter dash placed him in ninth on the Lafayette all-time list.

“One of the kids on Bucknell who is a freshman said ‘congrats’ because [he] could tell I was pretty excited … It was cool seeing other people be really positive, even though it was still a competitive meet,” Conca said.

On the women’s side, freshman sprinter Maeve Waldron placed third in the 60-meter dash (8.04) and fourth in the 200-meter dash (26.35).

Sophomore middle-distance runner A.J. Sanford won the 800-meter run (1:57.10), and sophomore hurdler Angel Awono placed fourth in the 60-meter hurdles. Her time of 9.05 was the sixth-best in Lafayette history.

In the field competitions, sophomore pole vaulter Julia Greeley placed second in the women’s competition (12-00.00) along with sophomore pole vaulter Jack Lynett who finished second on the men’s side (14-07.25). Senior thrower Grace O’Mara placed fourth in the shot put (39-06.00) and second in the weight throw (50-06.25). 

O’Mara said that these “last-chance” competitions are useful because they help athletes gauge where they are at while still fostering competition. They also allow athletes who haven’t yet qualified for the championships to do so.

“One of the things we’ve been focusing on this season is learning how to compete better and how to be mentally stronger during a meet,” O’Mara said. “Even as a senior I think that’s something you can never be perfect at.”

It can sometimes be difficult to build team chemistry on a track team, given that athletes often compete by themselves. Conca said that the team is still close-knit. 

“We always do team bonding activities or we just hang out,” he said. “Every Sunday we do recovery days. A lot of the team gets together and stretches and then we go out to lunch.”

O’Mara said that she motivates her teammates by watching their events.

“That’s been one of my goals as a senior — to be somebody that all the event groups can come talk to and say, ‘Oh, that’s Grace. I know her.’ I’ve made it a goal to go to every event, cheer them on, watch their races and be able to talk to them about it afterwards,” O’Mara said. “We’re a special team in the way that we’re so individualized. But we all recognize that and we all recognize that we’re here for a reason. I think that’s what really brings us together.”

This was the Maroon and White’s last indoor competition before the Patriot League Indoor Championship, which will be hosted by Navy on Feb. 25 and Feb. 26.

At the championship, Lafayette hopes to upset programs like Army, Navy and Bucknell.

“One of the things that Lafayette needs to show the league is that we’re one of the little guys, but we’re still there,” O’Mara said.

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About the Contributor
Grace Sanborn
Grace Sanborn, Assistant Sports Editor
Thinks hitting a ball with a stick outside for four hours is fun.

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