Caitlin Dorsch ~ Copy Desk Chief
From Friday, January 18 to Saturday, January 19, the University of Lynchburg Indoor Track & Field squad continued their quest to receive an Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Championship at the VMI Keydet Invitational in Lexington, Virginia. This event had athletes in all divisions of collegiate play competing against each other and was the second invitational that the team has competed in this season (2018-19).
Overall, the team had a strong performance at the VMI Keydet Invitational. Senior Madeline Van Aken placed 13th in the pole vault, Junior Reid Sharkey placed 6th in the 3,000 meter, Sophomore Kaitlyn Johnson placed 13th in the 1-mile, and Freshman Jessica Cammarata placed 29th in the 200-meter dash.
Since both the men’s and women’s teams placed third in last season’s (2017-18) ODAC Indoor Track & Field Championships, the team has worked very hard to fine tune their abilities as well as create a stronger team dynamic. Senior pole vaulter Madeline Van Aken, spoke highly of team’s chemistry as one cohesive squad. Even though the athletes compete separately in most of the events, the close-knit culture that the team gives the athletes a huge sense of support. Aken explained, “The culture of Lynchburg track and field is one that is rare, and I am lucky to be a part of. Not only are we strong on the track, but our family of athletes is so diverse and everyone brings so many qualities and skills to the table. I love being a part of this program because I have seen it grow into something incredible. From the athletes to the coaching staff, we’re the embodiment of a championship team and there’s nothing else I’d rather be a part of.”
Freshman sprinter/jumper Faith Francis also said, “One thing that I love about our team is that everyone is very supportive. Not only on the track but with my academics as well. Since I am a freshman who is currently injured, not a day has gone by that someone hasn’t asked me how my classes are going and if I need any help or how my recovery are going. It’s just the little things like that for me that show me that there are people who actually do care about you, and that means a lot to me.”
According to freshman sprinter/jumper Zoe Scales, the team’s openness is one of the reasons why the athletes are so close both on and off the track. Scales insisted, “I’m a freshman and what I like about the team so far is that we encourage each other. This team actually cares and wants the best for everyone. For example, if there was a problem, we try to address it in the most effective way to better the team as a whole. We don’t just brush it under the carpet as if it doesn’t exist.”
Lynchburg Indoor Track & Field continues their quest this Friday (January 25) and Saturday (January 26) at the Liberty University Kickoff in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Please come out to support your Hornets!