As conference championships loom for the women’s track team, The Argus decided to chat with sprinter and Captain Idara Foster ’15 about the positive results so far this season and how the squad hopes to carry that momentum into the latter portions of the schedule.
The Argus: You only have one meet left before NESCAC Championships. What are you looking to do this week?
Idara Foster: This meet is typically thought of as a last chance meet. For a lot of people, this is a chance for them to qualify for NESCACs [although this year there are no qualification standards]. But just because there aren’t qualification marks doesn’t mean that work can’t still be done. We’re trying to run faster times to qualify for faster heats at NESCACs. We’re going to run heavy, so people are going to run all of their events to practice for next weekend, and these meets are a lot different than the earlier ones.
A: Based on everything that I have heard the past couple of weeks talking to some people on the team, the Elmer Swanson Invitational really seems to matter a lot to your teammates. What does it mean to you to be able to run at home one last time this weekend?
IF: Honestly, I haven’t thought about it because I just don’t want to think about it. There have been some really great things that have happened to me on that track. Once you’ve done enough races, they all start to kind of blend together, so you sorta don’t remember a lot of things. But on that track I was a Little Three champ, I’ve ran my fastest times on that track. I broke 25 seconds [in the 200m] for the first time on that track, so me having to run my last home meet here, I’m super excited. I really want to run, but also want to build memories with our teammates. You know what I mean? So the opportunity for it to be warm, for it to be home, to have family and alumni there, and to know that they were running on the same track that I am now, it’s great.
A: Last year the 4x400m record was broken at least three times and the relay came in second at NESCACs. The 4x100m came in third at NESCACs. Everyone who ran those relays last year is back this season, along with some new faces. You haven’t had your “top” relay squads run together yet this year. Should we expect big things this weekend from the relays?
IF: Our 4×1 has been ranked first in the ’CAC the past two years and then we lose by very, very little at NESCACs, so we’re going to run our top 4×1 this weekend, and we’re going to win at NESCACs. For the 4×4, I’m not sure if they’re going to run all of them this week, but they’re going to break that record again by the end of the year for sure.
A: It seems that this year you have people scoring in all of the events, from the sprints to distance, hurdling to throwing, long jump to pole vault, so you have a really well-rounded team. That being said, what do you think your main weakness is?
IF: Our caliber of athletes is very good. Our issue is we don’t have numbers. We’re half the size of Williams and Tufts. If we had as many people as they do, we would be beating them, no doubt. We’re pretty good all the way around, though. One of our issues is we’re getting run down because we don’t have numbers, so we’re always tired, or we’re always injured, but we’re really good.
A: Last year the team came in seventh at NESCACs. It seems pretty likely that you’re going to improve on that. What do you think makes this year’s team better or different than previous years?
IF: Here’s the thing: we are definitely going to beat that. Our goal is to come in the top-three. It’s going to be hard, but we can do it. Last year was not a good meet. We were run into the ground at that point. Ellie [Martin ’16] was exhausted, Alexis [Walker ’16] was exhausted; we’re talking about some of the top runners on the team here. So the reality is, we really should have come in at least fifth or fourth. We’re definitely going to do better.
A: Has being a captain on the team this year changed how you approach your training and how you interact with your teammates?
IF: I approach my training the same. I take my training seriously. I always make excuses, but at the end of the day, I always do the workout. As for interacting with my teammates, I actually would say I’ve had to be nicer, not that I was ever mean, but since I’ve been captain I’ve realized I need to come to practice with an overly positive attitude all the time. I’ve had to really ask people how they’re doing and make sure that they’re okay and that if they have problems I’m there for them.
A: Whose performances have really stood out to you this season?
IF: Aidan Bardos [’17] stands all the way out. She killed it during indoors and she’s a beast. Ellie [Martin] is always so supportive of her teammates, but really goes after the workouts. Ananya [Subrahmanian ’18] works so hard and has to do so many different things than she did in high school. Alexandra Bacchus [’17] has come back more determined than I saw her last year, which is great to see, and she’s busting her butt in practice. Aida Julien [’18] too; she’s been killing workouts. Orelia [Jonathan ’15] too, she’s improved a lot in throwing since last year.
A: What do you still need to improve on this season, and how do you think you can do that with so little time left?
IF: It actually has nothing to do with track or training. We need to come together and support each other. That’s what needs to happen, and that’s the only way we’re going to win anything. We’ve gotten better at cheering for our team and being supported of each other. We’re all there, sometimes even throwing up, after our workouts, so we’re in this together.
A: When it’s all said and done, how do you want the 2015 team to be remembered?
IF: I want us to be remembered as the guys who didn’t take any crap. Up until this year, we have only ever had one senior on the team each year, and now we have six I think, so we’re really holding each other accountable. We’re calling each other out; we want everyone to be better. We don’t take crap anymore because we don’t have time for that.