by Kimberlee Yalango and Michael Baer
While the end of every school year is a time for celebration, it can also be bittersweet for members of sports teams, as they watch their seniors graduate. However, for the Muhlenberg track and field team, the home indoor meet is a time for all current and past
members to reunite on their old track. Since the outdoor home meet falls on a holiday weekend, the indoor meet is usually the only opportunity for alumni to come and cheer on their old teammates.
It also is the only chance for Muhlenberg students to come and find out what their “crazy” track friends are doing every day in the fieldhouse.
With the fieldhouse full of friends, alumni and family, the track team is always fully energized by the sea of red and grey. This motivates the team to perform well, even though the track, a 160-meter oval, is much smaller than the standard 200 meters. This tight space packs the crowd together, amplifying the noise during the closing lap of an 800 or the last exchange of the baton in the final event, the 4×400 meter relay.
The small size of the fieldhouse does have its disadvantages. All of the field events, which consist of the shot put, the jumps, and the pole vault, must compete before the track events can begin. Despite this quirky arrangement, field athletes can still gain a home field advantage, since they are more familiar with the equipment and setup than the competition.
Even if you’re not a diehard track and field fan, the indoor meet can still hold something exciting. Want to see someone vault several body lengths into the air? Then come watch the pole vaulters, including Erin Saucier and Ryan Hellings, who both have the top marks in the Centennial Conference. Want to see an All-American and NCAA qualifier compete? Then come watch Peter Rice as he runs his first collegiate 800. Want to see someone fly through the air before landing in a pile of sand? Then come watch the triple and long jumpers, like highly ranked athletes Marc Brookland and Tara Keegan.
Or do you just want to watch a dedicated and talented group of athletes compete in preparation for the Indoor Centennial Conference Championships? Then come watch the Muhlenberg track team compete this Friday starting at 3 pm!
pictured below are Muhlenberg students cheering on their favorite track athletes at past Muhlenberg Invitationals