The Women’s Track and Field team has had unprecedented success this season, with fantastic team performances as well as impressive individual marks.
On Apr. 23, at the Nature’s Bakery Invitational, senior Michelle Rigsby and freshman Ali Artzberger set individual personal records in the long jump, jumping 5.89 meters and 5.48 meters respectively.
That same day, Michaela Reynolds and Nicole DeMontigny went 1-2 in the 5000 meter run. Just a week prior, Elizabeth Gabel set a school record in the 400-meter dash with a time of 55.34 seconds.
Freshman Chelsea Stephens commented on the team, and she is preparing for the conference meet.
“We are getting ready for conference, which is this weekend,” Stephens said. “Right now I am ranked 11th in conference, and I am hoping to go up in the standings.”
Stephens also touched on the possibility of individuals qualifying to compete at nationals.
“Every athlete has the opportunity to hit provisional marks, which automatically qualifies you for nationals. It’s not just about how you do at conference. There are even two ‘last chance’ meets,” said Stephens.
These ‘last chance’ meets will no doubt be useful for sending individuals to nationals, since the women’s team will likely qualify several athletes while at the conference meet.
“With the conference meet, every point counts,” Stephens shared. “It comes so close, especially with the short entries we have.”
While the women’s team is not huge, it is growing and improving every year. The athletes are setting high goals for to push themselves and each other. Stephens shared her own personal goal for next year.
“Next year I am hoping to win conference in the discus and get up in the standings and have a shot at nationals,” confided Stephens. In order to accomplish this hefty goal, Stephens will need to work closely with her coaches and teammates.
“I think just getting stronger is going to be an issue I need to work on,” Stephens mentioned. “I’m very quick, and my counterpart Courtney is pretty strong.”
The throwers’ rigorous training schedule includes about two hours of throwing practice, then one hour of lifting four days a week, two days of competition, and one rest day. While this training is intense, it is paying off with such a successful season and great coaching.
“Coach is really good with our strength and conditioning,” commented Stephens. “The team is working really hard and coaches are doing everything they can to give us the most opportunities they can to see us succeed.”
Above: Michelle Rigsby participates in the long jump. She set a personal record this year, jumping 5.89 meters. Photo by Keenan Barker.