Women’s indoor track and field finished the bottom portion of the season in tip-top shape on Saturday at the Susquehanna Invitational. Multiple Marauders qualified for the PSAC Championships, had a trio of winning times and eight more top-10 finishes.
But, you know, no biggie.
“We pretty much trained through that meet,” Kiara Allen, a redshirt sophomore sprinter, said. “We kind of used that as a low key meet for our next meet.”
With the PSACs coming up on March 1 and 2, Allen, her fellow sprinters, along with Millersville’s jumpers and throwers are focused on one thing and one thing only: next weekend. But if last weekend’s performance is any sort of foreshadowing, the Marauders’ chances of success are looking pretty high.
Of the PSAC-qualifying times in the 400-meter dash, sophomore Kayla Naughton trumped the competition with her first-place time of 59.01 while senior Megan Meyer and freshman Aniya Gibbs trickled behind her, finishing fourth and sixth.
In the 800-meter run, sophomore Amanda Long also qualified for the postseason with a 2:25.37.
“It was kind of like a last-chance meet,” Allen said, emphasizing the necessity for the formerly mentioned competitors to leave it all out on the track in order to continue their season. The invitational was the final opportunity to qualify or bump up in seed.
Allen, usually a 55- or 60-meter runner, competed in the 4×200-meter relay alongside Naughton, Erin Mason and Erin Madison—or “Shoes,” as the team calls her—and nearly broke the school record from a year ago, which was broken by none other than…
“The funny thing is we broke the record in the same exact meet last year,” Allen said. “We were kind of bummed that we didn’t break the record [this year].” Allen was especially empathetic towards her senior teammate, Mason, since it was her last regular season meet; however, she conceded, “It was still a fun time.”
Madison continued her winning ways in the 60-meter high hurdles, flaunting a top number of 9.35 in the finals. On the same page, freshman Arianna Camel took second place in the high jump, curling her body over the bar at 1.57 meters. The freshman also placed fifth in the 60-meter dash with an 8.09.
The freshmen continued to soar—literally and figuratively—with Jessica White placing in the top five in pole vaulting with the help of a 2.75-meter vault. Also, Katherine Geating, from Abington, Pa., reached 2.60 meters and left the invitational in eighth place.
A perennial threat to break school records in throwing, junior Ann Kovacs, was the mother goose ahead of three other Marauders in the weight throw. She hurled the weight for 13.16 meters, placing fifth, while younger underclassmen Rebecca Grube and Kelly Kardos ended up in 12th and 24th.
Lancaster County-native Kelly Farris was a mere .18 meters away from a top-10 finish in the shot put. Notwithstanding, she placed a solid 12th with her best-of-two throws of 10.08 meters in the competition.
Only a handful of days now lie between the runners, jumpers and throwers of the Millersville women’s track and field team and the pivotal PSAC Championships, held at Bucknell University.
Now, if there was only an outdoor track they could prepare on.
“It’s been a struggle this indoor season because the track is covered in snow,” Allen said.
To make up for the lack of a usable—and visible—track, the team has run up hills, done endurance workouts and lifted several times a week.
“We run about 4-8 miles a week … to the Millersville Mart and back,” she said, while multiplying the sprinters’ number by 10 to amass to the long-distance runners’ total miles ran in a week of 40-80. But, while the durable long-distance runners are, well, running, the others on the team are working up the sweats indoors in the weight room.
Allen described doing snatches, incline dumbbell press, chin lifts, bench press, squats and, the most ubiquitous workout among the team, abs—just to name a few.
“It’s important to be able to lift that much to get our power,” Allen said.
Most importantly, though, they need their head in the game for the upcoming tournament: “PSACs will always be our focus,” she stated; “We know that we’re going to bring it.”