The MVNU men’s and women’s track teams showed continued improvement over their spring break trip to the Coastal Carolina Invitational.
Unlike the softball and baseball teams, track and field had competed prior to their spring trip, making appearances at Dennison University, Findlay University, Ohio Wesleyan University and Kenyon College during their indoor season.
This year, 36 athletes traveled to Coastal Carolina to compete during the spring trip — a big jump from last year’s 11 athletes. Members said this trip helped them grow closer as a team.
“Since there are about 40 of us, it’s hard to know everybody super well, but this trip really helped me to get to know a good handful of people,” junior Rebekah Mullins said.
Freshman Carl Jones agreed that the team came together during the trip.
“You can tell that there is a lot of love and care on the team,” he said.
The bond only grew stronger for the team as senior Josh Richardson competed in — and won — the 10k, a race some called a “turning point” for the team.
“We had been at the meet all day long, and we had to sit through a race that was 25 laps,” Jones said. “That didn’t stop our team from going down to the infield and cheering Josh on through each of those laps. To see a team become so selfless and be there for a brother after a long day was, in my mind, the most beneficial moment for us.”
Coach Chip Wilson said the goal of the four-day trip was for each day and each activity to help them grow from 36 athletes into one team.
Wilson was pleased with the way his team bonded over the trip.
“It is hard to put into words the enjoyment I saw from our student athletes just having the opportunity to spend time together as a team,” he said.
Standouts for the Cougars included Josh Richardson, who placed first in the 10,000-meter run; Treshaun Robinson, who took third in the 400-meter dash; Carl Jones, who took second in the 100 meter dash; and Jake Sherer, who finished the 800-meter run with a time of 2:01.50.
The women also made some noise at the Invitational. Brittany Platt took first place in the 1,500-meter run, and Rebekah Mullins took 18th. Junior Annie Winkler finished in sixth place in the 3000-meter run with a time of 10:47.69.
Wilson was happy with how his team approached tough competition.
“I wanted us to be focused on our own goals instead of being intimidated by the bigger schools and what they were doing,” Wilson said. “I believe we stayed focused, and our times definitely show.”
Team members said they are optimistic about their upcoming season. “We have made so much progress, and I cannot wait to see how the program builds up in the future,” Mullins said.
The Track and Field team will travel to Cedarville University on March 26 for the start of the outdoor season.