Men’s and women’s track teams prepare for the upcoming semester, future track meets
The track team is ready for a new semester or, more accurately, the track teams.
Track and field is starting off its first season of being split into a men’s and a women’s team, leaving the teams short on staff.
“(At the moment) there are very few coaches to help out,” said head coach Danny Cash. “You’ve got 30 people and eight different groups doing different workouts.”
Cash is coaching both teams solo after the recent departure of assistant coach Pierre Cadore on Feb. 4. A new women’s coach should be joining Guilford later this season, but no definite date has been set, nor has a candidate been publicly named yet.
Feelings on the split have been mixed.
“I’m personally excited for the splitting of the program,” said sophomore Caleb Amstutz. “As an athlete, I appreciate … the more individualized training plans and more personal coaching, and with only having one coach for two teams it’s hard to get that, even though he really tries.”
Others, however, are not convinced that split will benefit the teams.
“I think the teams should stay cohesive,” said junior Sommer Fanney. “My training partners are mostly men.”
Without on-campus facilities for the teams, however, there will still be a fair amount of connection between the men and women.
“We’ll still have to do practice together, because we only have access to the track from two to four (in the afternoon),” said Fanney. “So it really won’t be much of a split.”
The lack of facilities becomes more apparent for those athletes who run cross-country in the fall and then track in the spring.
“(During track and field) we start questioning our low budget,” said senior Jonathan Sumner. “But we got what we need, for now.”
Between the staffing issues and lack of facilities, some students feel that the track and field program does not receive the necessary support from the school.
“I’ve been concerned for a while about the school and its, I don’t want to say negligence, but almost neglect of our program,” said Amstutz. “We need as much support as anybody else, and I personally feel we aren’t getting it.”
The team does find plenty of support, though, from the other members of the teams.
“I couldn’t imagine being with a better group of people,” said first year Alise Green. “I really love the fact the team is based around family.”
The team currently has around 15 men and 13 women, and athletes from other teams will join as their seasons end. Many run cross-country in the fall or play other sports.
Some, like first year Cheyenne Wright, who is on the soccer team, are trying out track and field for the first time.
“At first, when I got here, I was nervous because I thought I wasn’t going to be all that good,” said Wright. “But once you get into the rhythm of it, you realize it’s not about being good, it’s about getting better.”
And the team is getting better — in the first meet of the year, Fanney broke the school record for the indoor 800 meters, and Green got the schools second best time in the 60 meter, a record she hopes to break before the end of the season.
Green hopes the two teams success will help bring more attention to the program.
“If we’re winning more, maybe the school will say ‘dang, maybe we should fund them more,’” said Green. “We’re just as much athletes as anyone else, any football player or basketball player.”