Since 2012 the Webster University Track and Field team has swelled from 21 athletes to 49 on the current roster. Webster has included Indoor Track and Field as an NCAA sport this year.
Last week on Jan. 24 the Track and Field team began its season at the Snowbird Open in Jacksonville Illinois.
Freshman Haile Wilson set the pace with a victory in the 60-meter dash. His time of 6.99 set a Webster school record, and the 14th fastest time nationally for the season in the event.
Head Track and Field Coach Dan Graber believes Wilson can become even faster throughout the season and has a legitimate chance to reach nationals at the end of the season.
Graber said the addition of Indoor Track and Field as an NCAA sport added incentive for new members of the track team.
“Last year, if Haile (Wilson) would have run the time that he ran this year, he wouldn’t have been nationally ranked,” Graber said. “There wouldn’t have been as much incentive to run fast.”
Wilson was one of 17 Gorloks to make his or her debut on the Track and Field team.
David Lambus returned from an injury that plagued him during the cross-country season, to win the one-mile race. However, senior Jenny Howard sat out action because of nagging knee issues. Graber believes she will return to action for the track team’s upcoming meets.
Elsewhere, Lauren McClain broke ground for the Webster throwers, as she finished third in the shot put with a throw of 11.11 meters.
Throwing Coach Sydney Laster praised Graber’s ability to bring in new recruits to the team.
“The kids are really excited,” Laster said. “It’s just kind of amazing. We’re in a rebuilding period, but we’re super excited about what the future holds. He’s (Graber) has been working really hard. The big spike (in freshman) has to do with Coach Graber working really hard.”
Laster, like Graber is beginning her second season with the Track and Field team. Her son, sophomore Noah Laster throws for Webster.