by Taylor Bradford ‘19
With the CCC Championships just around the corner and the New England Championships not far behind, Gordon’s Track and Field athletes have their eyes on the finish line.
The Scots’ 2016-17 season has proven to be a culmination of new personal and college records in a community where team chemistry, hard work and a dedicated coach have been the driving forces behind their success.
Head Coach Justin Wikerd entered his first Track and Field season as a Fighting Scot with an aspiration “to get people prepared, to get a team dynamic coming together and get everybody willing to work hard and with each other.”
These goals were easily met as the “squad,” a term coined by Wikerd to call the team, formed quickly through each individual’s desire to improve and encourage one another.
Although practices can be grueling, especially at 6:00am, the athletes have found that the unity of the team has been a motivation. Jack Gilbert ’18 said, “There were days in the beginning of the season that I did not want to go to practice, but I pushed through by remembering that track is one of the highlights of my day because of the people on the team. I feel like the people on the team are among my closest friends on campus and they feel like family to me.”
Corrine Previte ‘17 credits the team’s success and love for the sport to Wikerd. She said, “We honestly couldn’t have done it without Coach Wikerd. He is so enthusiastic and passionate about track; it’s unreal. He re-instilled the passion that I have for running and it wouldn’t be Gordon College Track and Field without him,” said Previte.
In their short season, Gordon’s Track and Field have put the fight in Fighting Scot as records have been broken and titles claimed.
Previte broke the college record for the 200m at 26.78 and in the 400m at 1:00.40 on March 25. As the season has progressed, she has dropped significant time in all of her races.
Reflecting on her progress and the direction she hopes to go, Previte commented, “I’m my own worst critic but I’m right where I want to be right now (time-wise) and I am looking forward to see where the rest of the season goes.”
Previte is scheduled to compete in the CCC Championships and has qualified to compete in the 400 at the NCAA Division III New England Championships on May 6.
At the Regis Spring Classic on Apr. 7, Damon Kilgore ‘18 led the charge, claiming the program record, a title which has stood untouched for eight years, in the 5,000m with a time of 15:26.58.
Last spring, Kilgore dominated the CCC Championships by taking first place in the 5k, 3000m and 1500m. This Saturday will be a challenge to see if Kilgore can take home another win.
Another one to watch out for on Saturday is newcomer Matt Jaeger ‘18 who placed sixth and posted a personal record in the triple jump at the Silfen Invitational in New London, Connecticut.
The Scots are scheduled to compete in the Commonwealth Coast Conference Championships on Apr. 29.
Daniel Simonds ‘17 commented, “Conference Championships are approaching and based off last year’s results, we have a very tangible opportunity to sneak into second place over Nichols.”