Trinity men’s and women’s track and field teams took first place finishes and SCAC Honors after last week’s meets.
Sprinters Michael Erickson, sophomore, and Natalie Geisler, first year, earned the honors of SCAC Men’s Track Athlete of the Week and and Women’s Track Athlete of the Week respectively. At the UIW Quadrangle Invitational, Erickson had an excellent performance with times of 1:58.26 in the men’s 800 meter and 4:02.02 in the men’s 1500. He was the leader among all SCAC male sprinters in both events. In the same competition, Geisler clocked in times of 2:23.43 in the Women’s 800 and 4:57.28 in the Women’s 1500. She led all SCAC women in the 1500 and was ranked third in the 800.
“It just shows that we’re a dominant team in multiple fields,” Erickson said. “We’re always out there supporting each other.”
Senior Rebecca Earle and first year Joel Holmes both took the honors of Men’s and Women’s Field Athlete of the Week. In the women’s javelin contest, Earle threw a distance of 25.86 meters, and in the women’s shot put event, she had a throwing distance of 10.09 meters. In the men’s shot put, Holmes dominated with a throw of 13.1 meters.
These four, Division III athletes went up against Division I athletes who received scholarships for track and field.
“I was the only D3 thrower,” Earle said. “It was definitely intimidating at first, but once we got into the groove of things, I was more relaxed.” She also mentioned that the Division I throwers from UIW were incredibly supportive of her.
These four were initially apprehensive when going against those athletes at the highest collegiate level, but once they were out there, they did not let the intimidating situation get to them. In fact, some used the situation to their advantage or as a motivation.
“It pushes me to do better because I just want to improve myself,” Geisler said.
They focused not on the people they were up against, but instead, they focused on themselves and what they should do individually to conquer the competition. In fact, when the show got on the road, Erickson didn’t even think about the level of his competitors.
“Once you’re out on the track, it’s every person for themselves,” Erickson said. “I don’t see them as someone getting money for what they do. I just see them as someone doing the same thing as me.”
When asked about their keys to success, these Tigers had one unifying message: calm down and give it your all.
“Honestly I do not think about anything,” Geisler said. “I just calm myself down a bit. I just think about everything my coach told me and getting through it the best I can.”
On the same subject, Earle spoke of the mindset these athletes had to be when facing such competition.
“If you almost think too much, you can overthink and mess up other things when you’re focused on one thing,” Earle said.
When throwing the javelin, Earle said that she does not focus on the small technical things, for those are ironed out during practice. When in competition, the thing to do is “be explosive” and give it your best.
With major competitions including the annual SCAC Championships coming up, these four are confident with the path both men’s and women’s teams are on.
“We’re in a pretty good position to go out and win,” Earle said. “If we can perform the way that I know we can and the way we’ve been working, then we’re set out to do some good things.”
With such unity and chemistry among their energetic, dedicated and unselfish athletes, the Trinity Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams are not only poised to succeed in nearly all events in the SCAC Championships, but they may also see some of their members competing at the regional, and national levels.