The men and women’s track and field team have a busy schedule planned for the next few weeks. All of their upcoming meets will be preparing them for their most prestigious performance all season: the PSAC Championships. The PSAC Championships will be held at West Chester University from May 13-15. As senior, Shannon Murphy stated, “This season has been a challenge yet rewarding. We are really looking forward to PSAC’s because it is the culmination of all the work we have put in for the last 10 months. Plus, having championships at home this year is awesome. For me it will be a great way to end my college career.” Not only are PSAC’s the most important event for the athletes attending, it is also when the graduating seniors will hang up their cleats and say good-bye to the Purple and Gold.
Murphy being one of the graduating seniors stated, “I’m going to miss the team the most. They have been there every day through my whole college experience. I look at them more like my brothers and sisters now instead of just teammates. We’ve all bonded through our insane practices and long bus rides. Without the team, running track wouldn’t be half as fun.”
The athletes that will be graduating this year include: Shawn Smith, Kevin Selinsky, Kyle Perry, John Hedrick, Shannon Murphy, Jess Joseph and Jenna Lenich. Of the seniors, Hedrick states his favorite part about running track, “The thing I will miss the most is the team. My teammates are great people and we all get along well with each other. I never find myself not wanting to go to practice and working with each other to get better. I have learned a lot from each person on the team.”
All of the athletes have been constantly training to qualify for PSAC’s. Of the Rams that did qualify, it is an honor to compete in this event. According to Brigid Gallagher, “Preparing for PSACs has been no easy road. I qualified in the 100m high hurdles and the 400m intermediate hurdles and we’re putting all our effort into workouts and all the small aspects that will help us to improve every day. I’ve never been more confident in my training and I’m anxious to see the final results come champs.” Coach Keiser mentioned that he has high expectations for both the men and women’s teams. According to Keiser, the women’s team is young and still using this season to learn what’s expected of them.
According to Shannon Murphy, the young athletes have come a long way. During the first week of practice, “Coach told us the workout for the day, and some of the freshmen looked at me like they were scared out of their minds. I laughed and told them to relax. I said, “Just get it done!” Since then it has kind of become my motto and it is what we say to each other before a hard workout.” However, the underclassmen are nowhere near inexperienced, considering the points they have brought the team and the personal bests they have achieved for themselves throughout the season.
On the other hand, the men’s team has dominated the indoor season and is putting a dent in the outdoor season as well. Coach Keiser puts his trust in the men’s 4x100m relay team as well as the 4x400m relay team. All season the members of these relay teams have done an outstanding job. Coach Keiser is optimistic to say that they will continue to prove their strength as a team and as individuals at PSAC’s in May. Not only is Coach Keiser optimistic about specific events, but the entire men’s team, as well. The Golden Rams set the bar high during the indoor season by placing fifth at PSAC’s. According to senior, Kevin Selinsky, he really saw “the team come together at Indoor PSAC’s. Whether it was Leighon Johnson winning the long jump and qualifying for nationals or the 4×400’s third place finish, it’s always fun to see people get rewarded for their hard work.” Therefore, Coach Keiser knows their abilities and would love to see them out-do themselves at the upcoming Championship.
Since some of the athletes will be leaving their Alma Matter after this season, Murphy, Kyle Perry and Hedrick have advice for the underclassmen. According to Murphy, “If I could give advice to the underclassmen for the upcoming season I would tell them to enjoy every second of the experience. The practices are long and hard, but at the end of it, you won’t regret doing it for one second. I came in to WCU knowing hardly anyone, and now that I’m leaving I have a whole team full of people that are like family to me.” Perry wants the underclassmen to “keep working hard, keep each other in line and focus. The main thing would be to listen to your coach, even though you might not agree with everything, have confidence in your coach and compete in every meet as if it was your last.” Lastly, Hedrick inspires the returning track and field team to “just keep working hard and have fun. The last four years have gone by way too fast and I wish I had another four years to run. I wish everyone the best of luck.”
The Rams will continue to prove their strengths and abilities throughout the next few weeks leading to PSAC’s. The PSAC Championships are the last meet of the season so come and help support the track and field team at home on May 13-15.
Jillian Morgan is a third-year student majoring in communication studies. She can be reached at JM652349@wcupa.edu.