On Saturday, Feb. 24, the Men’s and Women’s Winter Track and Field teams will head to Ursinus College to participate in the Centennial Conference Championships.
The team has high expectations for this event, and are confident in finding a spot on the podium at the end of the daty. Both squads will be relying heavily on their seniors, as they have gained valuable experience from participating in past conference championships. Specifically, the men’s team will be counting on seniors Mike Havkins, Anthony Calantoni and Anthony Ware; the women will be led by veterans Emily Davidson, Jamie Pacilio, Mallory Snyder, Shana Joseph, Hayley Steckler and Kaci Gregory ‘18.
Although Head Coach Brad Hackett is excited to see how his seniors lead, he is also looking forward to see how the team’s young athletes will react to their first championship meet. Hacket mentions Luke Ullman, Zach Lill, Andrew Fiore, Jack Weinberger, Declan Walkush, and Jeffrey Alvarez as first years for the men’s team who can help the program achieve their goals.. Additionally, for the women’s squad, Hackett cited freshmen Emily Mitchell, Alana Noehrenberg, Jill Lissner and Courtney Blake. Hackett’s likes the composition of his team, which is neither top or bottom heavy. The balanced mix will not only help the Mules in this championship, but be beneficial moving forward not relying too much on a single class of athletes.
Throughout the current winter season, Hackett has witnessed major improvements from a few of the program’s athletes. “Chris Funge improved in the 900 from 2:05 last year to 2:01 this season; Santina Zouras, who ran 5:24 last year in the mile and ran 5:16 last weekend; and Corey Mullins, who has improved from 4:25 in the mile last year to 4:17 this year,” said Hackett. With such improvements upon the already stellar results out of some athletes within the program, Hackett deserves to be pleased with their hard work and effort in preparation for their championship meet.
Hackett has been coaching Muhlenberg Track and Field since 1999. With his experience, he knows the proper techniques to prepare his team for victory. To prepare for the conference championship this year, Coach Hackett had his squad run at the Armory in New York City, one of the fastest indoor tracks in the country. Hackett explained how the location will help moving forward, saying that “[Participating at the Armory] really gave the athletes an opportunity to run fast and feel what it is like to run fast.”
The other portion of the team’s preparation for the championships, and most crucial portion according to Hackett, is making sure that they have gotten the appropriate amount of rest. “We are peaking right now and rest is the most important component to that,” said Hackett.
As the Mules round the final turn and head toward the finish line of their season, the program’s preparation has put them in a position to not finish strong.