Passing the Baton

Rising junior Katrina Faust of the Muhlenberg women’s track and field team shares her experiences from last weekend’s ECAC Championships:

Faust ran her ECAC-qualifying time of 15.78 at the Centennial Conference Championships. Her personal best entering the season was 16.31.

Faust ran her ECAC-qualifying time of 15.78 at the Centennial Conference Championships. Her personal best entering the season was 16.31.

Earlier this season, if anybody had asked me where I was going to be on May 15, I would probably have responded with “sleeping.” And that is probably where I would have been if not for the support of my amazing team.

I think it’s really important to recognize that there are those who may never qualify for nationals, but those are the people who help others get there. I never expected to qualify for the ECAC Championships and I wouldn’t have been able to set the personal record required in the high hurdles to get there without the support of my teammates.

The three days that I spent traveling to and from Albany, New York, were some of the most rewarding of my track career thus far. I may not have set any records while I was there, but I was able to cheer on my teammates, which is just as important. I have never been more proud of the people that I choose to spend hours on end training with.

Jessica Thimmel, Claire Thornton, Daniel Cano, and Melanie Tramontina, my fellow sophomores, were experiencing their first ECAC Championships along with me. Michelle Gaykowski, the only freshman to join us, was right there beside us. And what an experience it was. I saw some incredible performances in those two days and it is amazing to witness such great athletes all in one place.

And to be among those athletes is both humbling and gratifying. I cannot emphasize how glad I am that I was able to be a part of this experience with such wonderful and supportive teammates. Not only are they the most considerate people I know, but they are my friends and support through anything and everything.
Faust (bottom row, right) along with Thornton, Cronin, Zakheim (top row, left to right), Thimmel and Wojtkowski (bottom row, left to right).

Faust (bottom row, right) along with Thornton, Cronin, Zakheim (top row, left to right), Thimmel and Wojtkowski (bottom row, left to right).

It was the perfect farewell to the seniors, who have worked so hard to make what we do worthwhile. I was able to strengthen my friendships with Nicki Cronin, Lauren Zakheim, and Amber Lee Wojtkowski just by going through the experience of the ECAC Championships with them. From goofing off in the hotel rooms to cheering as they ran past, this experience will stay with me for the rest of my track career and life. It truly was the passing of the baton from the seniors, and I have never been happier for them as they graduate and run their separate ways.

And though it will be bittersweet, I look forward to the day that I get to pass that baton on as well.