Track races to MAC championships

Stevenson University’s men’s and womens’s track team continues to face obstacles as both teams begin to wrap up the indoor track and field season.

Without a Stevenson indoor or outdoor track facility, the team finds creative ways to practice by running through the hallways in Caves on a roll-out mat that extends 30 meters, and by weight training, intensive exercising, and training outdoors around the campus. In addition, the team will practice at Owings Mills High School when the track there is available.

Senior runner Kendall Belser has had a strong indoor track season thus far (Photo from gomustangsports.com)

During the men’s indoor season, senior Kendall Belser was selected as the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Indoor Track Athlete of the Week for Feb. 4, based on strong finishes at the Ithaca College Bomber Invitational, coming in fourth in both the 60- and 200-meter dashes.

Sophomore Dereck Davis of the men’s team was named the MAC Track Athlete of the Week for the second time on Feb. 11, following his eighth-fastest 60-meter time this season.

On the women’s side, junior Kimberly Hammond was named MAC Field Athlete of the Week after taking first in long jump at the Lebanon Valley College Dutchmen Invitational on Jan. 18.  Senior Jess Rega won the shot put division, placing her second in the Mideast region, according to gomustangsports.

Junior Kimberly Hammond competes in sprints and jumps for the Mustangs. (Photo from Brett Adams’ Flickr site)

Track athlete Ryley Hinson said she appreciates the coaches’ attention to detail, their positive attitudes, and their regular conversations about their progress in the season.

David Berdan, head coach of the men’s and women’s track and field and cross country, said he is proud of the teams’ ability to overcome  challenges.

Berdan, assistant coach Zachary Brown, and their two graduate assistants, Jessica Fritsche and Nick Shaw, all work closely together to build a successful track program.

With several upcoming tournaments, the team is on the move almost every weekend. Berdan said, “Just one indoor or outdoor competition can take up to 12 hours a day to complete, and championship meets could take up to three days.”

Both teams will travel to an invitational meet at Susquehanna University on Feb. 16. On Feb. 22 and 23, MAC championships will be held on Lehigh University, and in the beginning of March the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field championships will be held in Boston.

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