Coming together as a team: Track and Field has high hopes after John Covert Classic

A+member+of+the+womens+track+team+the+the+John+Covert+Classic.+%28Courtesy+of+Athletic+Communications%29

A member of the women’s track team the the John Covert Classic. (Courtesy of Athletic Communications)

AJ Traub

Just one week after their loss against Lehigh, the track and field team returned to Bethlehem for the 25th John Covert Classic.

Beginning with the field events, senior Pat Corcoran and junior Dave McGriff dominated for the Leopards, finishing first and fifth, and second and fourth in the weight throw and the shot put, respectively.

“In the weight, the biggest thing has been that I’ve been pretty consistent with what I’ve been doing technically,” Corcoran said. “This year we’ve worked towards becoming more consistent. We’ve been focusing less on throwing hard, more on throwing well.”

Junior Michael Thorne was able to bounce back from the first meet at Lehigh to take first place in the pole vault.

“I was coming off a bad performance at Lehigh, so I’m about where I want to be,” Thorne said. “[I placed] right about where I should have been. It gives me some confidence back, and I know I’m back where I need to be going into the bigger meets.”

Later in the track events, junior Jennifer Salvatore led the Leopards with her third place finish in the 5000 meter.

“[The event] went better than I thought,” Salvatore said. “This was the first time I ran that distance in almost a year. I haven’t raced since spring. It was a 30-second personal best time.”

Senior Stephanie McCartney finished fifth in the same event and senior Brigid McGill finished sixth out of 30 runners in the 3000 meter.

“I was proud of everyone,” Salvatore said. “We really stepped up on Saturday. A lot of runners ran their fastest times of the season.”

Salvatore was especially thankful for the support of the team during her event.

“My teammates were positioned at every 50 meters on the track,” Salvatore said. “It was great for them to cheer me on. It’s a 25 lap race, so you really need some support.”

Corcoran also said that, although it may come across as an individual sport, the role of team unity is quite crucial.

“It’s an individual sport, but it’s a team sport at the same time,” he said. “We have to help the team perform better as a whole. Big individual performances and the purpose of those performances is to help the team perform better as a whole.”

The team has its sights and ultimate goals on the Patriot League Championships.

“We’re competing at our Patriot League meet in a few weeks,” Salvatore said. “So we’d like to place well as a team and run some personal records.”

“I think it’s about how we practice the next couple of weeks,” Thorne said. “Just people doing the right things and working hard and making sure they’re ready to compete at championships.”

As for Corcoran, he likes to keep things simple and to the point.

“We’d like to go out and kick some ass,” joked Corcoran.

The Leopards compete next at the New Balance Invitational in New York on Feb. 3 and 4.