Letter to the Editor

Walking away from the Naval Academy last weekend, the track and field team had eight top-10 performances and nine personal bests – a culmination of a full season’s work. Spirits were high after many of us broke into the All-Time List. It was a full weekend of races and competition, and the time that was not spent competing was time spent supporting teammates in other events.

You wouldn’t have known that from last week’s article “Track has lackluster performance at Patriot League Indoor Championships.” My teammates and I were appalled by this article. The title makes clear The Lafayette’s glaring lack of knowledge and care for Track and Field. Even in their reporting of statistics, they repeatedly fall short. For example: a Feb. 3 article attributed to Maeve Waldron a 16 second 200-meter race, which would certainly be a world

Lafayette is aware of where we stand in the Patriot League; the disparity of funding among Patriot League teams is immense. But that does not mean that we shy away from competing and succeeding at a high level. Lafayette is producing athletes like Julia Greeley, who placed top 10 at Patriots, qualified for ECACs, scored for the team and whose picture was used last week – directly over the embarrassing title. Becky Hartman, fifth place finisher and number 4 All-Time in the 5k, was the sole interview for the article. Her comments about the team’s success were positive, identifying our new coach and talented freshmen as reasons to be optimistic – hardly enough information to describe our performance as “lackluster.”

Athletes from the track and field team have expressed to me that they will not give interviews anymore because the words we say are skewed and used out of context. The Track and Field team has over 90 members and many different event groups, but we make a concerted effort to take interest in each others’ success and have knowledge of each event group – not just our own. It takes a deeper understanding of the sport to realize that an individual success is a team success, and the work we do is to push each other forward. I suggest that if the newspaper is going to continue to cover our sport, they too make an effort to, at the very least, be accurate – and maybe even make an effort to understand the sport.