Women’s Track ‘ Field: NU can’t keep pace on national stage

Women’s Track ‘ Field: NU can’t keep pace on national stage

By Cynthia Retamozo

The women’s track team traveled to University Park, Pa., for the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup at Pennsylvania State University Friday and Saturday. This was the first time the Huskies competed at the annual meet against a dozen nationally ranked teams.

Head coach Sherman Hart said the team could have performed better at what he called the second-biggest meet in the country. The state-of-the-art track facilities and presence of nationally ranked athletes got the best of the Huskies, he said.

“We went in to handle the meet,” he said. “But instead the meet handled us.”

The Huskies placed fourth in three events, with veterans leading the way. Senior Shanae Henry took fourth in the 60-meter dash (7.56 s) and senior DaviAnne Brown placed fourth in the 600-meter run (1:35.40).

Freshman Cosandria Walker took fourth place in the triple jump (12.13 meters) and sophomore Olivia Kalinowska placed ninth in the pole vault (3.75 meters). Senior Zara Northover placed seventh in the shot put (14.91 meters).

Despite these finishes, some team members said they could have been more aggressive.

“I ran my race smart,” Brown said. “But at the last lap I kicked in late, so I probably could’ve passed more people.”

Brown said although the meet’s overwhelming environment may have been a factor in the outcome, the core reason for the Huskies’ mediocre performance was they were competing against nationally ranked athletes.

She said comparatively, the team came out poorly. But previous meets like the Boston Indoor Games and the Great Dane Classic, in which the Huskies placed second, showed they are capable of better.

Next weekend, the team will compete in the New England Championships at Boston University. Twenty-five of the 35 Huskies have qualified, including Walker, who advised her team to stay confident after Penn. State.

“Don’t worry about team colors,” she said, referring to the uniforms worn by nationally ranked teams who earn television coverage. “Go in confident and do it.”

Hart said all New England teams will be at BU, including the best of the best. With lessons learned from this past weekend, he has high hopes for the Huskies.

“We just need to go out there and compete hard and with passion,” he said. “Then the rest will fall into place.”

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