The men’s track and field team has been trudging through the snow since January in preparation for another exciting season. The team is young this year after graduating a very strong senior class, but the Tigers are still expecting to clock fast times. The team has a lot of representation in the shorter events, which hasn’t always been the case in the traditionally distance-heavy program.
“We actually have a full enough sprint squad to pull together relay teams,” said sophomore Graham Frank. “I think a lot of the distance guys are going to make huge improvements.”
For such a young team, the level of intensity is certainly not lacking.
“We have a lot of strong-looking freshman and while there are not that many returning runners, everyone that is an upperclassmen is dedicated and psyched to run fast,” sophomore captain Sam English said. “I am really looking forward to seeing (and racing against) Mike Murney, a freshman, who is showing a lot of promise in workouts and definitely is going to have a really fast season,”
While the Tigers aren’t far into the season, the men did have a chance to run a 1500-meter race at the Air Force Academy a couple of weeks back.
“Everyone that raced was pretty pleased with where they were so early in the season,” Frank said.
Despite the makings of a solid season, the weather and the absence of a track around Washburn Field have proved challenging in executing important workouts.
“The weather hasn’t helped us much. We did half of the workout outside and finished the other half in the auxiliary gym,” Head Coach Ted Castaneda said.
Though the weather isn’t ideal, it does have its benefits in strengthening the runners.
“The snow has been hindering our workouts a bit, but it’s a long season and I personally think that modifying a few of our workouts now might help some of the younger guys keep from getting injured in the long run,” Frank said.
“Running is a very challenging sport, not only in terms of the physical commitment it requires, but also, and more importantly, because of the mental commitment it demands,” English said. “It can be very hard to get out to run eight or so miles every day, especially when the weather is not agreeable. Fortunately, everyone on the team has a positive attitude.”
While the Tigers may be very serious in their training, they’ve also shown their dedication to success in the classroom after the cross-country team was awarded Academic All-Americans for the second year in a row. Frank also was granted the award individually.
All in all, the men’s team has a bright future and the results this season should certainly demonstrate that talent.