Women’s track and field prepare for outdoor season
Matt Gad – Special to the Southern News
Southern’s women’s track and field team always strives to be highly competitive, but this year, well, everything seems to really have connected well. Recently, the lady Owls finished second in the Northeast-10 conference meet, just falling to Stonehill in the intense competition.
Like every year, the goals are essentially the same; the team wants to compete at the highest possible level. After a strong performance as a team in the conference meet, that confidence is running high, and the focus level is also in check.
“The regular season went well,” said women’s head track coach Melissa Stoll. “We have a few national qualifiers thus far, and we have also had some school records broken, and athletes have also massed new personal and season bests.”
Stoll added that the athletes have competed well all year, and now is the time where the week-to-week performances are the most vital. Ideally, everyone wants to reach New Englands and the NCAA Division II Championship.
“I feel like the season just started for me,” junior captain Shatajah Wattely said. “I still have nationals down the road.”
Being a junior and a captain, Wattely is focused on capping off her final winter seasons with a bang.
With the outdoor season just around the corner, Wattely is also looking forward to having more girls part of the team, and being able to compete in more events as well.
The most events one athlete can compete in, per meet, are four. And that is what the junior captain has on her agenda every meet day.
Wattely is excited because the freshmen seem to know what is expected of them, and what they need to do, to be productive teammates.
Wattely stressed work ethic as being a major factor for success.
Additionally, her teammate is also looking forward to the postseason meets, and the upcoming outdoor season.
“Have I accomplished my goals? No, not really,” said Destiney Coward, “because I still want to qualify for Nationals, and New Englands is the last place to do that. So I am just hoping to have the chance to be there later on.”
Coach Stoll believed she got the best out of her athletes in their conference meet, and has confidence on her athletes as they continue in their postseasons. She cited that it is important to continue to be the best when it counts the most.
In addition to everyone focusing on their individual goals and event categories, Southern does have a 4 by 4 relay team ready for upcoming competition.
The rest of the team will need to provide their own transportation to the regional and national meets, if they want to cheer on their fellow teammates in action.
Most of the members of the winter indoor team will be transitioning to outdoor in the coming weeks, and they will also be picking up more athletes with the additional events one can do outside in the spring.
“It is very important to keep progressing forward from one season to another,” Stoll said. “Most athletes from the indoor season will be continuing on to compete in the outdoor season. There are a few athletes whose events are specifically for outdoor (javelin), but otherwise, a lot of athletes just move on over.”
No matter what, when the indoor seasons end, the women’s track team will just be changing over to their preparation for the outdoor season.
The first outdoor meets begins on March 25 with the Raleigh Relays.
In addition to stacked competition in April, the Owls will also be part of the Yale Springtime Invitational on May 1 at Yale’s track and field facilities, off of Route 34.
Photo Credit: SCSU Athletic Communications