At Franklin and Marshall College this weekend the men’s track team’s goal was to be top five in the Centennial Conference. While we were a frustrating single point away from that goal, I truly believe this past weekend was a success overall for both the men’s and women’s track and field teams given the circumstances. For starters, the men’s team scored 11 more points and moved up one place compared to last year. The women’s team scored an impressive 16 points more and moved up two places from last year’s championship.
On an individual level we had two gold medals, one silver medal, two bronzes and nine regional qualifiers. On top of that and on a more anecdotal level, I saw some inspiring performances of people leaving it all out on the field and I couldn’t even tell you the number of PRs that were established this weekend. Out of all the points we could have realistically scored this weekend we scored nearly all of them and had a near perfect day on Saturday.
Sunday was a successful day as well although not quite as much as the day prior. It’s hard to say for sure but being at a meet all day and competing with 100% of your effort probably drained the team a little so keeping the previous level of intensity and emotion was difficult. Another aspect that contributed to the results of this weekend that I think has to be mentioned is our team’s size. To put it into perspective, our roster this year is 55 athletes, which is both the men’s and women’s team combined. Johns Hopkins University’s men’s team alone is 52. Ursinus’ men’s team has even more at 55. They also went first and second in the meet with 192.5 and 178 points respectively. The next place up? McDaniel’s men’s team consisting of only 30 athletes had 96.5 points, while Hopkins had 288 points (67 points from the women’s team) with the second place team Dickinson having 102 points (35 points from the women’s team). Not having the depth in each event limits competition and puts us at an obvious disadvantage compared to these other teams. Now the coaches are aware of this issue and have even invested in recruiting improvements, but until the recruiting numbers rise in an appreciable way, the probability for huge success is limited.