Now in its third season and with its largest roster yet, the MVNU track and field team is full of optimism and determination.
Head Coach Chip Wilson described this year’s team as a group of “young, talented athletes,” and said he is excited to see where this season will take them.
The men’s roster is up to 35 athletes, while the women carries 20 members.
Although some are recovering from injuries and focusing on regaining their health for the outdoor season, Wilson is still pushing his athletes for a strong indoor season.
Wilson expects the men to be led by Carl Jones Jr. and Brandon Brown in the sprints, Sam Nordquist and Ryan Thurman in the field events, and Jake Sherer, Simon Taylor and Darian Pacula in the middle and long distance events.
“All of these leaders have stepped up already in the early parts of the season, and I look forward to watching them continue to lead in their own ways,” Wilson said.
In addition, sophomore Mitchell Soviak is throwing well for the team this year, and has already qualified for the NAIA indoor national meet in the shot put.
Soviak “put in a lot of work in the off-season,” Sherer said.
Leaders for the women’s team are expected to be Abby Ellis and Tai Dawkins in the sprints, Jordan Cormier in the eld events, and Rebekah Mullins, Bethany Bogantz and MaKenzie McKirgan in the middle and long distance events.
“All of these ladies have the experience and attitudes we need to move forward for the Lady Cougars,” Wilson said.
Team members said Wilson pushes them to do their best and give 100 percent every day.
“If your body only feels 75 percent, give 100 percent of that 75 percent,” Sherer explained.
Wilson also pushes his players to stay personally accountable and disciplined in their workouts.
“Since there are a lot of us and only two coaches, it is important for all of us to stay disciplined,” senior Simon Taylor said.
Team unity is another focus for the Cougars.
“I am looking forward to watching team members develop in their own individual events, but more importantly, the continued development of their support for each other and the team environment,” Wilson said.
So far this year, team members are working hard, showing improvement and competing well, Wilson said.