It’s not every day that an athlete is referred to as “special.” Yet that’s the word head coach Dave Prevosti picked to describe junior Keira Wood for her performance on Saturday Feb. 1 at the SUNY Brockport Invitational. At the invitational, Wood won the mile race with a time of 5 minutes, 9 seconds. She finished four seconds ahead of second place, joining junior Allison Hoh, senior Tony George and sophomore Aidan Fullerton in the winner’s circle for the Knights.
“I wanted to break five minutes in the mile,” Wood said. “But it’s still early, so I’m happy with my race.”
Hoh won the 400-meter run and the 60-meter hurdles in the invitational, George placed first in the 1,000-meter run and Fullerton broke the school heptathlon record with 4,629 points in his victory.</p>
“She’s talent that works hard,” Prevosti said of Wood, who also has the third-best 800-meter time in NCAA Division III this season.
Winning events isn’t anything new to Wood. Already this season, she has two victories in the mile run, one in the 1,000-meter run and one with the 4x400 team. In fall 2013 she won the SUNYAC cross-country meet and last year, along with Hoh, was part of a distance medley relay team that finished third in the country at the national indoor meet. The two other members of that squad, Cailin Kowalewski ‘13 and Alyssa Smith ‘13, graduated from Geneseo but have left an impact.
“[Smith and Kowalewski], they’re just amazing people,” Wood said. “As soon as I got here, they took me right under their wing … They taught me to believe in myself because I struggled with that at first."
Now that she is an upperclassman, Wood strives to lead by example, although she said that her teammates’ performances are often just as much of an inspiration to her.
“If I’m doing an 800-meter workout, I notice the 5,000-meter girls working their butts off … It’s not just me doing the right thing and them seeing it. They do it too, and I work off of them as well,” she said.
One of Wood’s season goals is to compete at nationals, and she and her coaches have faith in her ability.
“Right in the beginning of indoor, [assistant coach Mike Woods] came up to me and said, ‘I think you can make nationals in the 800-meter run and the 1-mile run.’ That’s pretty big to try to make nationals in two events … and that scared me,” she said. “At the same time, I was like, ‘Yeah, I think you’re right. I think I maybe can.’” The team competes again on Saturday Feb. 8 at Brockport in the Golden Eagle Run Invitational.