Outdoor track and field eager to reach new heights

Graphic: Ashley Olinger
Edinboro’s outdoor track teams looks to get more qualifiers in 2015.

By Tyler Trumbauer
Sports Editor/Spectator

Their prior season’s performances has the men’s and women’s outdoor track and field teams eager to get their 2015 campaign underway. Both teams qualified for PSACs last season and the women’s team had several individuals compete in the national championships.

The teams are looking forward to furthering that success in this coming spring.

“The teams are very excited to be moving into the outdoor season,” head coach Anne Carlson said. “Our men only have an outdoor team so it is weird during the indoor season to only have the women’s team around at meets. We just don’t feel like a whole team without the men there.”

There are a few seniors that will be competing for the last time in their Edinboro uniform this spring. They are Emily Ahrens, Allison Gibbens, Noelle Jurcak, Sarah Krolick, Megan Maffett, Lexus Nesby, Courtney Parisi, Chuck Ivey, Kyle Shinn and Pat Walker. Brianne Dietrich is also a senior athlete outdoors, but will still have an indoor track season next year.

Dietrich is one of the returners who competed at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships, along with Junior Kasey Jones a year ago. Dietrich was also recently an All-American for the indoor squad.

“These senior athletes have all had a huge impact on our team in many different ways. As a program we are sad it’s their last season with us, but [we’re] also looking forward to the things they have left to accomplish as Fighting Scots,” the second-year coach said.

There are also several younger athletes stepping up and making a positive impact on the team. Bekkah Bond had a great freshman cross country and indoor track season, said Carlson, who looks forward to see what she can do outdoors. Bond placed in the open 800-meter and ran in the distance medley relay, 4x800 and 4x400, all of which placed at the PSAC Indoor Championship meet earlier this month.

Bond is looking forward to her freshman outdoor season and is setting high expectations for herself.

“I am hoping to improve my time in the 800 and 400. My goal is to place in the top three at conference,” she said. On the men’s team there were several freshman that stepped up during the cross-country season and made a positive impact for the team. There will also be a few freshmen on the sprint side for the men, making for a lot of new faces on the track this season, Carlson said.

Sprinter Kyle Shinn has grown within the team and is hoping to prove himself this spring.

“I am hopeful that Chuck [Ivey] and I place in the conference this year in the 400. We have a couple young guys who could do some great things. Hopefully with that young talent we can put together 4x1, 4x4 and 4x8 relays that can compete within the conference.”

Overall, what both Boro track teams want to do remains the same. “Our goals for the year are always just to build on what we did a year ago,” Carlson said. “We want to have more qualifiers for the conference meet, more All-PSAC performers and more national qualifiers. We just always want more than what we had before.”

The aforementioned Gibbens outlined her goals for her farewell season as a Fighting Scot. “I would love to PR in the 800 and run a national qualifying time,” the Erie native said. “I also really want to defend my title in the 800 from outdoor last year at the PSAC meet.”

The teams open up the 2015 outdoor track and field season in Charlotte, North Carolina, at the UNC-Charlotte 49er Classic on March 19-21 before taking the quick jaunt to North Carolina State for the Raleigh Relays on March 27 and 28. The teams do not have a home meet during the outdoor track and field season. The closest, geographically to Edinboro, the teams will compete is at Slippery Rock on April 2 and 18.

Tyler Trumbauer is the sports editor for the Spectator. He can be reached by sports.spectator@gmail.com