By Jack Sullivan
On Feb.19, Sacred Heart University’s women’s track and field team won their fourth consecutive NEC Indoor Track and Field Championship.
“You wonder if you can do it again, you wonder if the kids have the motivation that they had before, it’s about being consistent,” said coach Timothy Beach.
The women’s team was in Staten Island for two days for the championship and they scored in all 17 events. They scored 126.66 points and performed well enough in all the events to get points.
“Going into the meet, we knew as a team that we had the potential to make history at Sacred Heart by getting that title for 4 years in a row,” said senior Jennifer Hahne. “It feels great to be part of this amazing senior class that has accomplished it.”
Hahne got the silver medal in the 5000m run to earn 16 points, which put them in front of LIU Brooklyn by 17 points. Although it was the last race and the pressure was on, that didn’t stop Hahne from running her hardest.
“This being my fourth race of the weekend, my legs were pretty shot, so what actually helped me keep pushing myself in the race was to focus on whoever was in front of me and not think,” said Hahne.
Along with Hahne, there were many performers that contributed to the team’s victory. Among those were senior Kayla Lawrence.
Lawrence won the 400m, got fifth in the 200m and participated in the women’s 4×400 race. As a senior, she has seen success every season in the NEC Indoor Track and Field Championship.
“It’s such an honor being on a four time winning indoor championship team,” said Lawrence. “The feeling is overwhelming because it was a fight for this year because we came into it unsure if we were going to do well.”
Both women were motivated to come out on top because of their team’s support at the championship and the season as a whole.
“In this sport, if you are not motivated, there is a stopwatch or a tape measure to remind you exactly what happened that day,” said Beach. “It’s a bigger story if they are motivated or not, but as a team we don’t have that problem of staying focused and motivated.”
Along with the women’s success, the men’s team placed second in the championship meet. They scored 106 points but fell short to LIU Brooklyn’s 141 points.
One of the top performers for the men’s team was senior Trevor Guerrera, who won the NEC Most Outstanding Track (Distance) Performer Award. He won the mile with a 4:09.04 and then set the meet record of 1:51.16 in the 800m.
“I was pretty happy about the mile, I set a personal record even after running two races the day before. I was pleased with it,” said Guerrera.
Like the women’s team, the men had the support of each other to stay motivated and to compete to the best of their abilities.
“Going into the championship, our goal was to get better and to win,” said Guerrera. “We knew we were a better team than last year so we wanted to go out there and be contenders.”
Senior Giuseppe DeLucia won the pole vault and also had a personal best to get some points for Sacred Heart.
“I was very proud of the performance the entire team put on. We had guys stepping up, and that’s what you need in big meets like the NEC Championships,” said DeLucia. “We had guys throwing, running, and jumping injured, and we were able to feed off of that kind of energy. This group of guys stood behind one another and performed as well as they could’ve.”
Guerrera, DeLucia and the rest of the men’s team look forward to beating LIU Brooklyn in the outdoor season after losing to them in the Indoor season championship.
The men’s and women’s team plan on expanding their achievements in the outdoor season and are determined to win an NEC Outdoor title.