By Tim Alford
The women’s track and field team started training for the winter indoor season with a goal to win their seventh straight NCAC Championships.
Senior Nicole Lourette, a triple jumper and long jumper, said the runners who do not run cross country began non-mandatory captain’s practices in the third week of school.
“That time is used to build the sprinters, jumpers and throwers up and prepare them for the regular season, as well as to build close relationships with the freshmen,” Lourette said. “It is a crucial part of our training that is less intense, but a vital first step in the preparation process.”
Junior Antoinette Jolliff, who runs the 400 meter hurdles and pole vaults, said from now until the first meet, the team will be strengthening themselves and preparing their bodies to run 100 percent at meets.
The track team has not had success in just the indoor season, but also in the outdoor season in the spring. Coach Kris Boey, who is entering into his eleventh year as the coach for the men’s and women’s team, said the women’s team has also won four straight outdoor championships.
Senior Clare Duffy, who participates in the heptathlon, said the strong freshmen class will be wonderful additions to the “dominating upperclassmen.”
Lourette said their numbers and the depth of the team is a strength that they can use to compete with other teams. She said if the freshmen combine their skill with the skill of the upperclassmen, the team could be “unstoppable.” However, she also cited success as a potential weakness for the team.
“Our weakness could possibly be getting complacent at the top of the conference,” Lourette said. “Our tradition of winning has been so strong, that the younger members on the team may just take it as a given – but it’s not. We have to continue to work to get that title and, as our coach always tells us, we need to ‘stay hungry’ because that target is always on our back.”
Throughout the season, the men’s and women’s teams practice together. Lourette said the teams work together all of the time and often lift together as well.
Jolliff said her brother, Silas Jolliff, is a senior on the men’s track team and it has never been a problem.
“Personally, I get along very well with the men’s team,” Jolliff said. “…We practice together and cheer for each other at meets, so I like the atmosphere. The girl’s and guy’s team overall get along well, (and) every once in a while there is a little competition between the two, but it makes everyone better.”
Duffy said the team has some goals going into the season for continuing their winning tradition.
“We’re looking to have the senior class graduate with a perfect record (winning every conference title indoors and outdoors),” Duffy said. “Through the indoor season, I’m hoping for the team to remain healthy. It’s difficult to stay healthy and injury free for four months of competition, but we set ourselves up to come as close to that as possible.”
Lourette said she is hoping to reclaim her spot in the top three of the triple jumpers in the conference during the indoor season. For a team goal, she said she would love to see the team win the conference championship again.
“We definitely have what it takes skill wise, we just have to stay hungry for it,” Lourette said. “During indoor, the most important thing is to not get complacent before outdoor starts. It’s a whole new season and all the other teams are going to step it up; that means we have to as well.”
Jolliff said that while she likes to win, she also wants to have fun.
“I want to have fun mainly,” Jolliff said. “Yes, I like to win. But some days that won’t happen, so I think just doing my best every meet and working harder for the next one is my goal.”
Boey said he and the team will work to continue to be the best overall program in the NCAC.
“I want each individual to improve, stay healthy, have success (individually and as a team) and have fun in the process,” Boey said. “We will represent OWU, our team, and ourselves in the best possible manner regardless of the results.”
The first indoor meet for the team is the Marietta Open at Marietta College on Dec. 1.