June 24, 2018

Webster University’s track and field teams get off to hot start

The Gorloks track team has started off with a streak of new records over the past two weeks. The men and women’s team just broke a new record which gives them the advantage to qualify to the finals. Fifty competitors (28 men and 22 women) competed in the Principia Relays held at the Coach Crofton Athletic Center on the Principia College campus.

Webster University junior Caleb Clemons presented a strong effort and performance for the Gorloks. In the Principal Relays, Clemons took home first place in the 60-meter dash with a personal best time of 6.98 seconds. Clemons’ time is currently tied for the 14th fastest in the nation. Along with winning first place in the 60-meter dash, Clemons also ran the lead leg on Webster’s 4-x-200 meter relay team that placed first and ran a school record time of 1:33.14.

For the women’s team, the fastest performance came from the 1600 meter sprint medley relay team, taking home first place with a school record time of 4:35.67. The time bettered the old mark of 4:36.38 set last season. Many members of the team contributed to setting the new record, including sophomore Brittney Griffin, senior Donalda Desir, senior Meghan Illig, and freshman Meredith Sowers.

With these new records, the team’s morale is higher than ever. The relations between the track members and their coaches are all about communication and understanding.  Clemons attributes his positive attitude to head coach Nick Niehaus’ way of training.

“Like Coach Niehaus and me, we always sit almost every day and plan where we are now,” Clemons said. “We always watch constant videotape of me running and point out different flaws on my rank technique and then in the next practice we refocus on that aspect that is holding me back.”

Clemons said he wants to aim high since he hopes to eventually become a professional runner in the Olympics.

“It kind of goes back to my competitor spirit,” Clemons said. “I want to be number one like anything below number one I am dissatisfied. I always have to be number one regardless where I am at, whom I am facing and always want to be the best.”

Meredith Sowers said that the women’s team also provides a very positive attitude which helps enhance performance during games.

“I have supportive teammates like Meghan Illig. I look up to her,” Sowers said.” She is kind of my role model on the team.”

Sowers also talked about the coaches impact, and how that has led to a successful start.

“My coaches are super awesome and encouraging,” Sowers said. “The moral of support on this team has been one of the many factors to reach its potential and the excellent start of this season.”

Even though Clemons’ reaction about breaking a record was normal, Sowers’ response for her breaking record on her freshman year was unexpected and exciting.

“Breaking record on my freshman year here was like really exciting and rewarding,” Sowers said. “I never would do that in my freshman year at a colleague level.”   

Coach Niehaus kind of expected the track team to break a record, even though it can tricky to predict the results of sports.

“You will never go in the expectation to break records especially in the first week,” said Niehaus.

The coach’s goal is to at least get one member from each team to win the conference title at a national level. Niehaus said the Gorlok’s track teams still have a long way to go for the rest of the season. He and the teams are hoping to win the conference titles this year. 

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