The Wheaton College co-ed indoor track teams participated in the David Hemery Valentine Invitational on February 8, which included all NCAA division teams and club teams from the immediate area.
The women’s team featured runners who reached new personal records in both sprint and distance events. In the words of first-year hurdler Nina Schofield ’22, who set a personal record of 9.52 seconds in the 60 meter hurdles, “Personally, I think the meet this past Friday went pretty well. As a team, I think we did great!” The men’s team featured many personal records, season highs and even a top-ten placement for first-year Elijah Akindolie ’22 in the all-time 500 meters Wheaton College school record. Sophomore Marcel Smith ’21 tied his season record for the 60 meter high hurdles with a time of 8.88 seconds. Smith felt that the “last meet went well for me and the team. I ran my PR at the meet, which was a confidence booster.”
Looking forward to the rest of the season, Schofield yearns to end on a strong note and take that into the upcoming outdoor season. Coming off of an already successful run, the team wishes to continue with more achievements. Smith had this to say about this season compared to the last: “I would say overall it is hard to judge. In the aspect of having more athletes qualify for New Englands, we did very well in that category. However, on the other hand, some of our strong runners have been injured most of the season which hurts us overall.”
The mostly freshman and sophomore team enters every meet ready to compete, and as explained by Smith, “I feel that the team’s greatest strength is that we can easily see how everyone is improving.” Both teams will continue to compete and move forward with determination as they finish this season off in the coming weeks. Both the women’s and the men’s teams feature New England Division III Championship athletes. The Division III Championship starts on Friday, Feb. 22 at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine and ends the next day. The outdoor season will begin later this Spring.