Augustana Observer

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Augustana Observer

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February 24, 2024

Women’s track prepares for new competition

Women’s Track run during one of their practices. Photo by Tawanda.

The last time the Augustana women’s track team had a meet at Illinois Wesleyan University, they were still under the guidance of previous head coach Fred Whiteside.
Also, the last time the team was at Illinois Wesleyan was for  their CCIW meet in 2014, this Saturday will be the first time now head coach David Thompson will be heading to Illinois Wesleyan as the team goes to Keck Invitational.
The Augustana women’s track team will also have a first as they take on familiar completion at, but a different track as the Viking have never attended this particular competition before.
The Keck Invitational will be held at Illinois Wesleyan University and will include familiar teams such as North Central College, Wheaton College and Carthage College.
Head coach David Thompson said the Vikings often change up their meet schedule every year, altering it to improve their performance. In this case, they are attending the Keck invitational in order to get a feel of the track.
“We try to not go to the same meets every year, we like to change things up,” Thompson said.  “This year we are going to this meet because Illinois Wesleyan is hosting the conference championships and I wanted us to get a chance to see the track and feel the surface.”
Despite the change in schedule  from going to the Olivet Nazarene Invitational last year, senior Zoe Robb isn’t worried, only excited, as many of the teams competing are familiar faces that they compete against yearly.
“We see a lot of the teams over the season so I wouldn’t say anything changes there. It is different going to a new facility but nothing really changes. It’s always just a track and it’s just a runway,” Robb said.
The Vikings are getting pumped up for the new competition but staying true to their normal preparation routine.  Freshman Maddi Glatz said they focus not on preparing for individual meets but for the conference championship at the end of their season.
“Our whole season is leading up to conference and that’s when he (Thompson) wants us to peak. But also each meet is an opportunity to get better,” Glatz said.
This idea of preparing for the conference championship is a clear message that is reverberated throughout the Augustana team and pushed by Thompson.
“What we talked about this year is wanting to practice with a purpose and compete with a purpose, so we are preparing for this meet just like any other meet,” Thompson said. “You come to practice, you work hard, and you come with a goal and something that you want to accomplish. We always talk about wanting to win the day.”
Augustana is not only excited to attend the Keck invitational to try something new, but also because they are already feeling very good about their season. According to Thompson, Augustana set 11 personal bests in the first meet alone.
“I think we are doing really well so far. At the start of the season we got off on the right foot, and we really focused on bonding at the beginning of the season,” Robb said. “We made sure that people knew each other and felt included and like this was a home for them, that they had people to go to. I think that really helped us out.”

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Women’s track prepares for new competition