Despite the snow flurries and 30-degree temperatures, the Wittenberg track and field home invitational continued. Central State University and Tomas More College traveled to Wittenberg to compete in this meet on April 9.
The invitational is the only meet of the year to be hosted on Wittenberg’s home turf and 15 seniors were honored prior to the start of the meet.
Many competitors were weary of the weather as the meet got started.
“I wish the weather wasn’t going to be so freaking cold,” Tomas Pyle, ’18, said. “[But] I’m very excited to finally run on our home track.”
Many of the athletes competing stayed inside the HPER Center until right before their race in order to stay warm and keep their muscles relaxed.
“We typically perform well and home,” Laike Wallace, ’16, said, “And it’s nice not having a long bus ride back from other schools.”
The men’s team finished first after 16 events and the women’s team finished second in the invitational after competing in 15 events. Due to the cold weather, the steeplechase events were cancelled for both men and women to prevent the possibility of frostbite after jumping into the water.
Members of the track team were excited to show their pride in participating in Wittenberg athletics as the meet came at the tail end of DIII week. Throughout the week, student athletes participated in fundraising competitions, athletic showcases, and other activities. Having a meet at home gave the track and field team a chance to show their talent to other university students as well.
“It’s so exciting we get to have a meet on DIII week and show our tiger pride,” Rachel Porrello, ’19, said.
Track and field alumni came back to cheer on their past teammates as they competed and as seniors were recognized for their commitment to the team.
This is the only track and field event that will be held at Wittenberg, but the team still has the chance to compete until the end of May if they make it to the NCAA DIII National Championships.
The NCAC tournament will begin at the end of April.
“The team has been working really hard this year,” Stephanie Atkinson, ’18, said.
Many male and female team members finished first in their events this week, finishing with high performances and earning points for the Wittenberg team.