The Track and Field team has been preparing for this upcoming season and its ultimate goal — to compete in the NCAA Championships.
“We had a good group last year, my first year with the program,” head coach Chris Bradford said. “Just getting things reset with a new coach, it always takes a little time. We had a lot of people transition well and work their tails off.”
The track team ended last season with three athletes going to the NCAA Track & Field Championships: Shane Martin, Kaelin Moore and Araseli Servin.
In the 110-meter hurdles, Martin finished fifth overall and earned All-American status, the first under head coach Bradford. Servin finished 19th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Moore finished his freshman year fifth in his heat and 13th overall in the 400-meter hurdles.
“It felt amazing to be able to get to DII Nationals,” Moore said. “That was definitely my ultimate goal as a freshman, so even though I did not have the best results, it was still a good experience and I loved every moment of it.”
For distance runner Casey Monoszlay, this will be her first time back racing for the school in two years.
“It was a long process of trying to get back into it and running with the team … I have been trying to hit the pace I need to qualify for nationals,” Monoszlay said.
Monoszlay redshirted last season and can now compete for this upcoming season.
“Casey redshirted so she could come back this year, so she did not even compete last season,” Coach Bradford said. “She is a big part of our program and is going to do some big things.”
Every athlete on the team has his or her eyes on nationals, and that is no different for Moore. Now with one season under his belt, he has set his goals for this season.
“Now that I know what it is like in college and different from high school, I will use that knowledge to my advantage,” Moore said. “I hope to become an All-American and make it to DII Nationals again. Hopefully run a 50 for the 400-meter hurdles.”
Although Moore did not get All-American last year, he did seventh in the U.S. in 400 hurdles at the U.S. Junior Championships for 19 and younger.
“For him to come in and prove as much as he did last year, was really remarkable. It shows the sky really is the limit for him,” Bradford said.
The NCAA Track and Field Championships are set to be in May, and the team is determined to be a part of it.
“The way I approach it is the same every year,” Bradford said. “We are here to win championships, so we are trying to put our team in a position where we can win championships.”
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