The Owls’ expect to finish among leaders this season in A-10.
The key to the outdoor season of the women’s track and field team is simple: improvement.
“My expectations are that we are going to do way better than we did last year,” senior sprinter Andrea Butler said. “Overall, we have better performances in all the events. So I think we can take Top 3 at [the Atlantic Ten Conference Championships].”
Junior hurdler Jade Wilson takes Butler’s hopes a step further – she predicts an A-10 championship victory in the team’s future.
“I honestly expect to win A-10’s,” Wilson said. “We have great depth in every event, and having won it my freshman year, it just makes us want it even more since we didn’t get a chance to win it last year. I think everybody is going to show up and do what we have to do.”
The women’s team last won the outdoor A-10 Championship in 2010, where Wilson placed third in the 400-meter hurdle, joining then-junior Assata Cowart in the Top 3. In 2011, however, the team fell to a sixth-place overall finish.
That said, coach Eric Mobley is already seeing signs of progress based off of the team’s first meet at the Philadelphia Big 5 Invitational at Franklin Field on March 24.
“I thought there were some solid performances and some good opening starts,” Mobley said. “They’re starting off very close to how we finished the last outdoor season. With the training we put in, that’s always a good sign.”
Wilson had an opening meet to the outdoor season, scoring a first-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1 minute and 1.32 seconds. At the Maryland Invitational on Saturday, March 31, Wilson placed third with a similar time of 1:01.33, which bests the Eastern College Athletic Conference standard [1:02.04].
Wilson said she hopes to make it to NCAA Championships in what is her penultimate season with the team.
Freshman thrower Margo Britton and senior thrower Alanna Owens, also placed in the Big-5 meet, as Britton claimed first place in shot put (14.22 meters), while Owens took first in the discus (39.15 meters).
Additionally, freshman Jenna Dubrow had a second-place debut in the 5000-meter relay with a time of 17:40.83. Dubrow took silver in the 3000-meter run with a time of 10:01.14 at the Maryland Invite as well.
Going forward into the remainder of the season, the team continues to work hard preparing and training through practice.
“We’re just trying to build off of what we set out to do at the meet,” Wilson said. “It wasn’t our best, obviously, since it was the first meet. But we have a lot of potential, and we come out here everyday and work really, really hard.”
Evidently, this hard work is starting to pay off.
“We’ve had a few surprises with some of the athletes,” Mobley said. “Sometimes the coaches see it in them before they see it. Now, they’re finally seeing it too, and we’re excited about that.”
Avery Maehrer can be reached at email@example.com.