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The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

Tracking Progress: A Recap of the Current Track and Field Season

Photo courtesy of Caillie Fish.
Photo courtesy of Caillie Fish.

The men’s and women’s indoor track and field season is quickly coming to an end. Indoor Conference Championships are set for the end of February and the coaches and athletes are filled with anticipation.

Leading up to this moment, several athletes have qualified for the All-Atlantic Region Track and Field Conference (AARTFC) Championships, which is shortly after indoor championships. A small portion of both teams traveled to Franklin and Marshall on February 9th and came out with three AARTFC qualifying marks. Sophomore, Ali Haefele had two of those marks. 

Her triple jump distance was her all-time best with a jump of 10.96 meters (35-11.5 feet). Haefele’s high jump mark tied with Lexi Groff’s height of 1.57 meters (5-1.75 feet) giving them both an entry into AARTFCs. 

The rest of both teams traveled to Staten Island, N.Y. on the 9th and had three regional qualifiers as well. Juniors, Nathan Hajel and Owen Nahf both qualified in the 5,000-meter run. Hajel’s time of 15:05.07 was the ninth fastest time in program history. Close behind, Nahf’s time was the eleventh fastest time in school history, with a time of 15:10.40. Bryan Kerchner ‘26, qualified in the mile run with a time of 4:21.40. 

Although some Hounds have broken the barrier for regional qualifying, some athletes are on the cusp of their best marks. Coach Jesse Baumann and Coach Jonathan D’Ottavio are waiting for a big meet with several qualifiers.

“We are really close to a weekend where we just have multiple athletes qualify all of a sudden,” D’Ottavio said, “It’s something I’m sure all of us have been looking forward to.”

Both teams traveled to Alvernia on February 3rd and came out with 28 personal records (PR). This is a very high number for both teams and is exactly what the coaches are looking for. 

Although there have been multiple athletes to obtain season bests or qualify for regionals, it hasn’t been the easiest season. There have been several athletes struggling with injuries or even getting back into the groove of competing. 

“There were a lot more setbacks in the beginning of the season than anticipated,” Baumann said. 

In this sport, consistency is key. First meets are hosted in December before winter break which can be detrimental to a team’s dynamic. The coaches trust the athletes during the off-season, but it’s hard to keep training consistent.

The setbacks from the beginning of the season have made it difficult to see major improvement, but the coaches believe that the teams will be competitive in the upcoming conference championships. 


Photo courtesy of Caillie Fish.

Outdoor season quickly starts for both teams right after spring break. D’Ottavio is specifically excited for the outdoor season.

“There are events outdoors that we don’t have in the indoor season,” he said, “I am very excited for steeplechase and discus.”

The throwing events double going into the outdoor season, adding on discus and javelin. D’Ottavio shared that any purist of track and field would say that “outdoor is where it’s at.”

Baumann and D’Ottavio also shared that they have been trying some new things out with the team, such as a pre-meet team huddle and after-meet debriefs. Keeping this consistent is a main goal for the team.

Senior, Victoria Donovan, is also very excited about the outdoor season. 

“I didn’t get to throw last year because of an injury and I feel as though the team has a strong bond when we switch from indoor to outdoor,” Donovan said. 

One of her main motivations for the outdoor season is being able to throw the javelin and measuring the distance which is difficult for most throwing events that practice in the Archibald Recreational Center (ARC). 

As both teams continue to train, they hope for a successful rest of the season as the spring semester barrels to an end.

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