As the 2018-2019 indoor track and field season comes to an end, the outdoor team is focused on moving forward. They have come far in the past few years.
Coming off the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) indoor track & field championship, the men’s team placed first and the women’s team placed fourth.
At the conclusion of the indoor season, sophomores Ritchie Case and Dereck Davis both qualified for the NCAA indoor track and field championships March 8-9. Case finish in 12th place for the 60-meter dash and 17th place in the heptathlon. Davis tied for 11th place during the 60-meter dash.
Junior Kimberley Hammond also participated in the NCAA indoor track and field championships. Hammond placed 17th in the long jump division.
With the outdoor season beginning, head coach Dave Berdan and the Mustangs are poised to build on those feats from the indoor season.
The goal for both teams is to place in at least the top eight in the conference. However, sophomore Clement Onyebadi looks at the men’s goal from a different perspective. He said they could repeat as champions for the outdoor season.
“Widener [University] is our closest competition, but our only real competition is us,” Onyebadi said.
With the spring semester sprinting towards May, the track and field athletes find themselves doing the same.
Case said, “Going into meets (and the season), you want to start thinking of it prior to the meet, really start breaking it down the night before, making goals and thinking of how you’ll execute. Sometimes you have multiple events, so you need to be realistic and try not to set a personal record in every event but focus on what you’re best at.”
To improve upon the past, he said, it’s going to take work, especially being the team to beat with the Mustangs’ recent string of successes. Case and Onyebadi both spoke of the value of taking practice more seriously and trying to keep each other focused to repeat their success.
With first and fourth place finishes during the indoor season, the Mustangs have shown their potential. That is a significant accomplishment considering the lack of facilities, including a home track. The athletes wake up in the early morning to brave the cold and travel to Owings Mills High School or another facility, including the Reisterstown Sportsplex. Despite the lack of facilities, the Mustangs have no problem running free.
With grit to match the gold, both teams are a strong contender in the Middle Atlantic Conference title this season.
Wornden Ly contributed to this article.