SAU Buzz

Indoor Track

by Abbey Nimrick
Posted on Feb 02, 2018

After earning a trophy at last year’s nationals, the Bees are back and fighting for more.

“I’m really excited about this year’s team because I think that a lot of what we’ve been successful with in the past is reflected in this team,” head coach Dan Tomlin said. “We graduated a lot of big pieces, a lot of All-Americans, but we also returned a lot of All-Americans and kids who have competed at that national level.”

One of those national level athletes is senior Anthony Peters. He has been the racewalking National Champion for two years in a row and he has his sights set on one more.

“I feel sad that I’m almost through, but I’m determined to leave a mark,” Peters said. “I’m aiming for this to be my strongest, fastest season so that I can one day look back and be proud of everything I’ve accomplished.”

The race walkers are a group of mostly seniors, but they aren’t letting anything slow them down for their final season.

Senior Cassandra Delgado set the school record for the 3K race walk and is excited to see where her speed takes her this season and enjoy the last year with her track family.

“I am just really grateful for our conference because it allows my teammates and I to compete at an event that does not get much attention,” Delgado said. “I am even more grateful for my team that cheers us on when we compete, even if it is an event that they are not familiar with.”

With the national level athletes on the team it changes the expectations for the other athletes. When the program first started there were no national qualifiers. They have had 77 All-Americans in the past ten years with 66 of them in the past three years.

“That really changes the attitude of the team, they don't see going to nationals or being an All-American as being an unattainable thing,” Tomlin said. “They see it as their friends did it, and that’s a big hurdle to overcome when you're coaching so that puts us in a pretty good spot.”

As far as practicing, training and developing, Tomlin says they have had a quality season so far giving a lot of credit to the new Wellness and Recreation Center on campus.

“We’ve been able to do a lot more things than we have been able to do before,” Tomlin said. “It’s making a big difference; home field advantage for a couple of our home meets has been enormous. We’re probably two weeks ahead of where we would normally be which really bodes well for conference, indoor nationals and then going outside.”

After finishing in second place at last year’s conference on both the men’s and women’s side, the team is striving for a first place finish. Based off how their athletes have been performing, Tomlin thinks they have a chance.

As for earning another trophy at Nationals, Tomlin said they need to be in a position where luck matters.

“Last year we overperformed enough to be in a position where luck mattered and everything went our way and I think we will have enough pieces there to have a good national meet, but a trophy is a pipe dream,” Tomlin said.

The team competes again on Feb. 3 at the Olivet Nazarene Invitational.