Track and Field runs into their season

Contributing Writer

In their second year at Piedmont, the men’s and women’s track and field team’s seasons are in full sprint. For the first time, the team is competing in a full spectrum of track and field events, including sprints, throws, the pole vault, relays, hurdles, and distance and middle-distance events.

“Training has been going really well with each of our groups lately,” said Head Coach Jeff Jenkins. “Although our roster is still not as full as we would like it to be, we have grown significant- ly since last season with ten newcomers on the team this year.”

The team practices at Wilbanks Middle School, which provides the team with all of the equipment the teams need in order to practice.

“The biggest focus for our program right now is improving on our general fitness,” said Jenkins. “If our athletes gain speed, power and strength now, their performances in their individual events will increase as we move into our outdoor season. We have a very talented, but young group of athletes, so I’m excited for the future of the program. Our goal is to have over 30 student-athletes by the start of the 2017 season.”

After weeks of practice and three indoor meets in North Carolina, Tennessee and South Carolina, the athletes, so far, finished near the top in their events and set several school records. One of the athletes that recently set a record is first-year thrower Marina Powell with a mark of 27’5” in the shot put.

“It was the best start that I could have ever asked for from an athletic stand point,” said Powell. “To be the only Division III school competing
in the line-up, it was definitely pretty intimidating. I was so excited to be able to set a record and to push myself even further for the meets that are coming up.”

After setting that first record, Powell broke her own school record with a throw of 28’10.25.” First-year pole vaulter Kyle Ray then followed with creating a record of his own in the pole vault by clearing 12’03.5.” Second-year distance runner Reese Bowles and first-year distance runner Mackenzie Devine both finished in the top ten of the first mile and both set records. Reese placed fourth overall with a time of 5:50.15, and Mackenzie finished ninth with a time of 6:09.28.

Jenkins said that he is hoping to keep up this streak and move to become conference champions.

The team will compete in their first outdoor meet in the Berry College Opener on March 5 in Mount Berry, Ga.