Olympic legend Mark Spitz once said, “Records are meant to broken.” The Ohio Wesleyan women’s track and field team has proven that Spitz was right.
Freshman Amanda Clay has already broke two OWU school records. At the Spire Midwest Indoor Track and Field Open on Jan. 31, Clay set an individual record in the 60-meter dash and helped set a team record in the 1600-meter relay.
“There were teams from all over the country and through every division at the Spire meet,” Clay said. “That high level of competition I think really helped drive me to run my fastest and perform as well as I did. I found out after preliminaries that some of the women competing were trying to qualify for the Olympics, so it was really cool to face that level of competition.
Clay ran the 60-meter dash in 8.01 seconds, and the four person team of Clay, senior Katie Reid, junior Abbey Warth and sophomore Sierra Wright finished the 1600-meter relay in 4 minutes and 0.82 seconds.
“For me this is the first year I’ve run the 60-meter dash,” Clay said. “To see my times improve so much in practice has been really encouraging.”
Thus far both the men’s and women’s track and field teams have come in first place in all four scored events of the season, successes which they want to build on for the rest of the season.
“Now really is the time we emphasize working hard so we can peak at conferences and nationals,” sophomore sprinter/hurdler MaryKate Caja said. “So the fact that we are already having people break records really speaks to the quality of athletes we have on this team.”
The recent success of both Clay and the entire team has led to them receiving a top ten Division III ranking. According to the weekly ranking released by d3rankings.us, OWU is ranked No. 9 overall and as the highest ranked team within the Great Lakes region.
According to Caja, much of the team’s success can be attributed to their depth, which helps earn secondary points and boost their point total and climb the rankings.
Clay added not only is there depth, but a strong spread throughout all of the event groups.
“Everyone realizes that they can contribute in some way, and as a result we have gotten great performances across the board from everyone,” she said.
The goal for the team is to continue working hard and improve everyone’s times enough to qualify for the All-Ohio and NCAA National Championship events. Clay has the personal goal of beating her OWU record and running the 60-meter dash in less than 8 seconds.
Some highlights to look forward to for the Bishops include the OWU Open on Feb.13 and the NCAC Championship in Greencastle, Indiana on March 6-7.