While discussing the idea that track & field is more commonly regarded as an individual sport rather than a team sport, Eric Mobley challenged that notion.
“[Track & field] has a lot of individual events, but if you don’t act like a team with the same goal in mind, you just have a bunch of individuals out there,” Mobley said. “You don’t have a clear idea of how good a team we can be if you don’t start having that mindset in which if you become better teammates, the team gets better.
“That’s when you get that whole team aspect and invest it in the program itself and your teammates,” Mobley added. “Otherwise, you just have a bunch of individuals doing their own thing out there. That’s what all track & field programs try to work toward and that’s what we’re working toward also.”
In that respect, the fifth-year track & field coach feels this past indoor season was a successful one for both the men’s and women’s teams.
“This indoor season has given athletes an idea of what to expect for spring,” Mobley said. “We spend this season focusing on becoming a better team and I think the indoor season was really good with that.”
The indoor season ended Sunday with the conclusion of the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America for the men’s team and Eastern College Athletic Conference championship meets for the women’s team, and with it came some positive results and few regrets, Mobley said.
“We had some really good performances that we were happy about,” Mobley said. “Both meets feature [NCAA D-I Championship meet] competitors, and even though we didn’t have any this year, it was good to see how we performed and matched up with that level of competition.”
The season’s final weekend saw a few Temple runners turn in personal-best performances that kept Mobley happy.
Junior sprinter Lionel Wilson crossed at a personal-record time of 48.54 seconds in the 400-meter dash Saturday, and sophomore distance runner Alex Izewski nearly broke alumnus Travis Mahoney’s 3,000-meter school record of eight minutes and 20.8 seconds, crossing with a mark of 8:21.34.
Mobley also pointed out a 4×4 relay team consisting of Wilson, senior Damian Myers, junior Carlton Stafford and junior Gabe Pickett that produced a 15th place finish in 3:15.86, the relay’s fastest time all season.
“We ended on a good note for the men’s season,” Mobley said. “You always wish you could have gotten more from everybody across the board, but overall we had a good weekend and it was a good end of the season for us.”
The women’s bout in the ECAC meet saw sophomore thrower Margo Britton place as the runner-up in the shot put, as Britton tossed a 14.99-meter throw in the final round. Junior Anna Pavone, sophomore Michelle Davis-Timothy, senior Tonney Smith and sophomore Jenna Dubrow also impressed with an 11:43.63 finish in the distance medley relay, eclipsing the school record of 11:55.61 set by the same group a week prior in the Atlantic 10 Conference championship meet.
“The women’s team this year has been another example of just realizing how good you can be by working toward becoming a better team and teammates to each other,” Mobley said.
With the spring season starting March 22 at the University of South Carolina with the Weems Baskin Invitational, the Owls will have nearly three weeks to reflect and prepare for the upcoming season.
For Mobley’s brief time of reflection and assessment, everything comes back to working as a team in the so-called “individual sport” of track & field.
“Overall, it was a solid indoor season,” Mobley said. “We had some really good performances. The level of consistency could be a little bit better depending on the level of meet and maybe just continuing to come together as a team could help. I thought we worked on that toward the end of the year, and it’s something we’ll continue to work toward in spring.”
Andrew Parent can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @daParent93.