After a restful break, the Geneseo men’s and women’s track and field teams returned early to get back on track after vacation.
This allows athletes to access the facilities on-campus so they can train in the best possible way—since not every individual has the same resources at home.
While the training is exhaustive, preseason gives the athletes a time to focus solely on sports rather than combining practice with schoolwork. All in all, it’s a crucial time for team bonding, since so much of the day is spent with various team members.
“It’s actually really fun to have that time to spend with your friends and the campus is yours,” sophomore sprinter Ryan Dwyer said.
“I think those seven extra days of preseason were very important and were reflected in our first meet,” assistant coach Ben Wach said.
The teams were supposed to compete in their first meet of 2018 at the Rochester Institute of Technology on Jan. 13, but the meet was canceled due to inclement weather.
The men’s track and field team finished in fourth place at the Carnegie Mellon Invitational in Geneva, Ohio out of a total of 13 teams on Saturday Jan. 20.
Dwyer was integral to the team’s success. He broke the school record in the 200-meter dash just one day after breaking the school record in the 300-meter dash. While he is certainly thrilled about his success, Dwyer is also eager for what is yet to come this season.
“I feel like I’m not in my peak shape yet, and I’d like to do more speed training, so I can still work on some things,” Dwyer said. His commitment to progressing as an athlete is representative of the core tenets of Geneseo track and field.
“We really showed up to that meet and had strong performances across the board,” Wach said.
The women’s track and field team won the Carnegie Mellon Invitational, besting 11 other teams.
“The women’s distance squad absolutely dominated the 3K and junior distance runner Kristen Homeyer won the meet.” Wach said.
Homeyer just came off an impressive, All-American cross-country season and her success continued into the track season. The 3000-meter run and the 800-meter run are both events that typically come to fruition toward the end of the season, but the Geneseo athletes looked especially sharp for an early meet.
“We had multiple people put up top ten marks at the meet and lots of freshmen showed up really nicely after break,” Wach said.
The women’s throwers had a particularly impressive meet, which is not usually an event for which Geneseo is best known. Two athletes put up qualifying marks for the regional meet. Junior thrower Allie Barlowe’s scores placed herself on the school record board for two field events.
“[The coaches] don’t pay a ton of attention to the team scoring in the early meets because we are not always putting people in their best events,” Wach said. “The early meets are really about development and becoming the best version of yourself as an athlete.”
With such early success, it is exciting to picture how the team will improve and compete as the season continues. This upcoming weekend, Geneseo track and field will split squads. Half will compete at SUNY Brockport and half will compete at Cornell University.
“The two facilities [Brockport and Cornell] are great for different things,” Wach said, “So we’re sending people where the competition and facilities are best going to benefit them.”