Men’s and women’s track and field put on a strong showing at the A-10 Championship May 2.
The women’s team set a program high of 24 points, while the men’s team scored the second most points in program history with 10. Overall, each squad finished in 10th place by the end of the competitive weekend.
“They didn’t get this chance last year so to come full circle and be able to get out there and compete was great,” head coach Terry Weir said. “The main thing I took away from it is just how good this conference is getting. And I know some of our performances that we had this past weekend, a couple years ago that would win some races, or win some jumps, or be all-A-10 or definitely score.”
On the women’s side, senior Kathryn Nohilly finished third in the 1500 meter race, while senior Margaret Coogan earned fifth place and set a personal record time of 4:30.09. Nohilly also received all-conference honors to become the fourth Colonial in program history to do so.
“Sports are a lot more fun when you feel like you’re setting new records and succeeding,” Nohilly said. “And so that’s what we did. And I think what led to that has really been our teamwork and just supporting one another through all the weirdness of this year.”
Weir said Nohilly’s success also depended on her consistency throughout her training. He said she’s had “very little hiccups” since she contracted mono back in her sophomore year and has made the most of her limited opportunities during the pandemic.
Nohilly said the onus to prepare for the meets has been on the athletes themselves much of this season, since most of the men’s and women’s runners were not on campus in the fall, instead opting to train at home.
“The coaches are sending you your workouts and your training plans,” Nohilly said. “It’s up to each individual to basically carry that out. And our team did a really good job of that, which I think is part of the reason that we were able to have so much fun when we came back to school.”
In addition to her third-place showing in the 1500 meter race, Nohilly also grabbed fourth in the 3000 meter steeplechase event.
“Right now, she’s on the cusp of making the NCAA national meet in that, so we’re hoping we get another race or two in there to solidify that, but she’s having a fantastic year,” Weir said. “I couldn’t be happier for her, and I think she’s just scratching the surface, honestly.”
On the men’s squad, sophomore Miles Grant broke his previous school record to notch a new record of 1.92 meters in the high jump, while setting another personal best in the triple jump with a distance of 12.67 meters. Sophomore Ryan Fowkes also placed fourth in the 1500 meter race, while the relay team took eighth in the 4×800 meter race.
“It was a lot of fun because, I mean, it’s been a weird season,” Grant said. “And it’s just been really nice to be able to compete and get back out on the tracks.”
Grant said although the postponed season limited his ability to train ahead of the championships, it also allowed him to be more flexible with his individual workouts, something that Weir said Grant capitalized upon fully.
“We’re really lucky with Miles,” Weir said. “He’s a very talented athlete. And he’s a very level headed person. And so, prepping for something like this is tough, because we don’t have all the facilities and we have to get creative with it. And I think Miles likes that challenge.”
Weir said the team has shown more consistency at the end of the season overall. Looking forward to next year, he said he’s excited for what the season holds as the younger members of the men’s and women’s squads look to grow from their experiences.
“I just thought all of our first-years have handled this fantastic and a lot of that has to do with our senior leadership that we’ve had,” Weir said. “So I’m really excited we get a whole year of competing again and some sort of normalcy. I’m really excited to see what both teams do next year.”
Both squads will prepare for the Charm City Last Chance Tuesday as they exit conference competition and look to earn bids to the NCAA championship meets beginning June 9.