Muhlenberg track and field participated in the Centennial Conference Championships this past Saturday and Sunday. It was a very impressive weekend for the Mules, having spectacular performances on the big stage from both the women’s and the men’s squads. Corrin Ferrizzi ‘22, took home gold in the triple jump while Zach Lill ‘21, claimed silver in pole vaulting. Both accomplishments definitely were major highlights of the team’s overall performance. However, not to mention, Emily Mitchell ‘21, Andrew Braun ‘20 and Jarred Ford ‘22 all concluded weekend nicely, finishing in the top six in their respective competitions.
Ferrizzi’s gold medal definitely was the major storyline of the weekend, being the first Mule to receive a gold medal in the event since 2006. She leaped her way to gold with a distance of 37-5 in the triple jump, out performing her second place opponent by 1-3¾. The gold medalist attributed her success to the per volume of jumping practices that she has been partaking in prior to the championships. After taking home this accolade, Ferrizzi believes that the momentum gained from the successful weekend will only carry into next season, and most likely lead to a more impressive season.
Zach Lill also took home an amazing accolade, receiving the silver medal in the pole vault competition. He cleared 13-11¼, only six inches away from beating the conference champion from Dickinson.
Lill strongly felt that his lengthy preparation contributed to his astounding performance. “Starting in the offseason, I began to work much harder, going to extra pole vault sessions outside of Muhlenberg. Then coming to practice with a goal and focusing on that everyday gave me the confidence I needed to perform well when I needed to.”
Lill, not only acknowledged his own dedication, but the work and mentorship of his coaches as well to propel him to the position he aspired to be in. “The past two year’s coach and I have worked to make sure my approach is consistent, which is the biggest piece I needed help with. So the big thing was clearing big bars consistently and that’s just making small adjustment with a coach.”
There is no better feeling than coming away with such a prestigious award on the big stage. Lill was ecstatic that all his hard work had paid off. “It has definitely been big relief to go out there and perform when the team needed me to and prove to myself that I can jump high because outdoor fall season was kind of a let down for me. I am happy for now, but now my work for the spring season starts.”
This is an attitude that all coaches dream for their players to have. Not only did Lill succeed this past season, but he is hungry for more in the next.
For Jarred Ford, he ended the Conference Championships with a sixth place finish in the men’s pole vault recording a score of 12-5½. However, the circumstances were a bit different for Ford this season, as he had never participated in indoor track and field. He reflected upon his preparation for this new challenge. “This is my first year doing indoor track and field so I had to adjust to the new environment. At the beginning of the season, I sprained my ankle which kept me out for six weeks, so I had to mentally and physically train myself harder to keep up to pace with my teammates. My persistence and loyalty to the sport each and every day helped me to peak during conferences and place.”
Much like Lill, Ford also, attributed his success to the devoted Muhlenberg coaches. “My coach continued to encourage me everyday and helped me overcome obstacles that were hindering my performance. He made me smile and enjoy the sport that I compete in.”
Ford and Lill have the same mentality that make them forces to be reckoned with in the season ahead. They know that if they want to unlock their full potential and achieve their goals, they need to work hard every single day. The Muhlenberg track and field squads have a lot to look forward to in the upcoming years, with players that are committed and that will do anything to get to the top.