Women’s track switches to Whitewater

After finishing third in the Meet of Champions, women’s track and field prepares for their upcoming meet at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on Saturday.
The team is working toward peaking (when an athlete performs their best). The team is using this upcoming meet to help them peak for their conference meet.
Every coach has a different method on how to make their athletes peak at the right time, and that includes Augustana’s new women’s track and field head coach, David Thompson.
He came into a unique situation with the Vikings; they’re heavy on distance runners and light on sprinters. The small and mostly inexperienced pool of short-distance runners caused a bumpy start during the indoor season.
Junior and captain Katrina Friedrich said the team didn’t meet their expectations for the indoor conference meet.
“At indoor conference, we didn’t do as well as we wanted to,” Friedrich said. “We knew going into it that it would be a little rough.”
Since the start of the outdoor season, the team has improved dramatically.
“Throughout the season, we’ve definitely gotten a lot better,” Friedrich said. “At our meet at Western Illinois, it was definitely really hot, and it’s not something that we’re used to. Still, a lot of girls did really well given the heat.”
Along with the team’s overall progression, Friedrich also attributes the Vikings’ improvement to their new philosophy.
“A big thing that we are working on this season is team unity,” Friedrich said. “In the past a lot of people were stuck in their event groups. This year we are focusing on cheering for everyone, and you can definitely see a big difference. I’m in long distance, and when you’re running 20 laps on the track, you need someone there to cheer you on.”
Both the Vikings’ philosophy and progression came up big as they finished third in the Meet of Champions on April 23 and 24.
The Vikings finished ahead of CCIW rivals North Central College and Carthage College. This was also the second time that the team finished in the top three at a meet.
Thompson made a strategic move on the Vikings’ final meet before the conference. Instead of attending a two-day meet at Beloit College, the majority of the Vikings will instead be headed to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. There also will  be a 4×100 and 4×400 relay gcompeting at the Drake relays.
“Actually, it’s pretty simple,” Thompson said. “Beloit was a two-day meet, and I didn’t see the need to have the whole team miss Friday classes. Wisconsin Whitewater was going to have good competition. Any time you go into the WIAC conference and face some of those schools, you’ll have good competition.”
Friedrich agreed with switching the meets.
“Beloit (is) a two day meet and it’s kind of far away,” Friedrich said. ”There’s not really much competition, so I think Coach Thompson really wanted us to be at a meet with more competition and more teams.”