Giving a total team effort has always been the goal for the women’s track team.
“We want to be focused on doing the best we can. We can’t control what any other team does,” said women’s track head coach Lou Duesing.
Fortunately for the Red, its best has resulted in winning last year’s outdoor Heps and most recently tying for 21st in last weekend’s NCAA Indoor meet.
After a very successful indoor campaign — which included the team’s sixth consecutive outdoor Heps title — the Red will transition to the outdoor season starting with this weekend’s meet at the Long Beach State Invitational. The meet will be the first in weeks for some members of the Red, as the Marc Deneault Invitational on Feb. 17 was the last non-qualifying meet for the team. Nonetheless, the Red haven’t taken too much of a break, still holding daily practices.
“Once indoor season ends we give our girls a chance to get healthy and then we get right back on it … if you take a couple of weeks off, there wouldn’t be enough time to catch up.”
Taylor, who was last year’s Northeast Region Outdoor Coach of the Year, will lead the Red during the meet without the services of senior co-captains Sarah Wilfred and Morgan Uceny — both of whom are taking the weekend off after top-5 finishes at the Indoor NCAAs.
Last year, Uceny and Wilfred qualified for the outdoor NCAA meet, with the latter earning All-America honors in the high jump.
“I love the outdoor season, I am very much looking forward to it,” Wilfred said.
Wilfred, last year’s Outdoor Northeast Field Athlete of the Year, enters the season with an impressive resume. In last year’s outdoor competition, Wilfred won the ECAC high jump, placed second in the Heps and was named the Most Outstanding Female Field Athlete of the Sea Ray Relays.
Uceny enjoyed success last year as well, winning the 800-meter dash at the Heps, closely missing the final cut for the dash at the outdoor NCAAs and placing second in the regional meet. Recently, Uceny placed fifth in the indoor 800-meter dash at the indoor NCAA meet. Despite the top-5 finish, Uceny was not fully satisfied and hopes her first NCAA win can come in the upcoming outdoor season.
“[Finishing in fifth place] just gives me that much more incentive to train harder for outdoor nationals,” she said.
There is a strong possibility that Uceny and Wilfred will make a repeat appearance at this year’s outdoor NCAA meet, and possibly be accompanied by some other teammates.
Duesing won’t be surprised if more Red members join the two in Sacremento Calif. One of those being senior Toni Salucci who had an impressive showing at last year NCAA Regionals in the 5k.
Another potential NCAA-qualifier is sophomore Jeomi Maduka who will be able to commit more time to track after leading the women’s basketball team.