MEN’S TRACK AND FIELD—The Wesleyan men’s indoor track and field team is off to a great start in their 2017-2018 campaign. The Cardinals are a talented, young team that has proven to the NESCAC world that they are legitimate contenders for the conference crown. First-year sprinter Kyron Roberts has already made a name for himself with strong performances thus far. In the Wagner Invitational on Friday, Jan. 5, Roberts finished sixth in the 400-meter dash. He also finished third in the Little Three Championship’s 800-meter dash and placed an impressive second overall in the same event in the Smith Pioneer Invitational on Jan. 20. The Argus had the chance to catch up with the Brooklyn native to ask him a couple of questions regarding his impressive start to the season.
The Argus: What’s it like to have such a prominent role as a freshman?
Kyron Roberts: Each athlete adds their own unique ability to the overall team dynamic, which proves that we’re stronger when we work together. Like me, everyone on the team does their best to utilize the tools that the coaches and senior captains have shared with us, which build strong athletes and reliable teammates. Although we may not always win, we are willing to put in the work and effort to perform to the best of our ability. Input equals output!
A: What are your team expectations for the rest of the season?
Kyron Roberts: I hope that we can continue to support each other on and off the track, and never allow ourselves to give up so easily, because there is always more to give. When we are on the track, tired, and huddled in a crowd of kids that seem to all want the same thing, we must remember to dig deep and give the competition our all!
Even though over half the team is made up of underclassmen, the veterans on the team continue to shine. Andrew McCracken, a junior All-NESCAC recipient, has picked up where he left off last year. The pole vault specialist finished fourth overall at the Wagner Invitational. At the Little Three Championship, he showed Amherst and Williams who’s the best pole vaulter of the rival schools by winning it all. He followed up his stellar performance in the Little Three Championship with another first-place finish in the Smith Pioneer Invitational. The Argus asked McCracken’s thoughts on the team.
A: If you could choose one word to describe the team, what would it be? Can you elaborate on why you chose that word?
Andrew McCracken: Our team is made up of many skilled individuals, each of whom adds and shifts the team dynamic. Although track is a highly individualized sport, we all support and encourage each other, even when the going gets tough. In short, if I had to describe my team in one word, I would say we are a family.
The squad traveled to Tufts to compete in the Branwen Smith-King Invitational this past weekend. The Cards finished seventh out of fourteen teams. Roberts excelled, winning the 600-meter run. McCracken placed third in the pole vaulting event. The team will again travel to Beantown next Friday to compete in the Open New England Championship.
WOMEN’S—The Wesleyan women’s track and field team has already competed in three events this season. The squad’s high point so far is a second-place finish in the Smith Invitational. Like the men’s team, the women’s team has been sparked by great performances from first years. Ivie Uzamere ’21 has shown she’s a force to be reckoned with. The thrower has already bested program records. She won the weight throws and shot put in the Smith Invitational, and she set a program record for weight throws in the Little Three Championship. The Argus spoke to Ivie about her season.
A: As a freshman, did you expect to make such an early impact, even setting program records?
Ivie Uzamere: Prior to joining Wesleyan’s track and field team, one of my many goals was to demolish the school record for weight throw, shot put and discus. I always knew that it would be possible and that I would be destined for great performances if I put in the time and worked hard. Thus, going into the indoor season, I had a very determined mindset and worked very hard practicing and advancing my craft in order to break the weight throw record set in 2002. I am extremely proud of my accomplishment and cannot wait to break more records in the future.
A: In one word, describe the team.
Ivie Uzamere: I think that one word that describes the team is devotion. I have noticed during the few months that I have been apart of a team where my peers are extremely passionate and committed to their events, team members, and coaches. They put in the work and are proud to represent Wes!
Junior Julia Mitchell has also continued to shine as both an athlete and leader for the women’s squad. The Bellevue, Wash. native received high praise before the season started as a result of her success last year at the NESCAC championship, where she placed eighth in the 1,500-meter sprint. As for her impact this season, Mitchell was victorious in the 3,000-meter race during the ultra-competitive Little Three Championship. The Argus talked to Julia about the rest of the season.
A: If you could describe in one word what the team has in store for the rest of the season, what would it be?
Julia Mitchell: Talent. I was gonna say success, but I don’t really feel like jinxing us, and success comes in various different ways; however, talent is something our team certainly does not lack. We already have people who set school records this year, and that’s insane and so exciting. We also have some really talented freshmen in all our events, and let us not forget our old and wrinkly upperclassmen. In the wise words of Mr. Ollivander: “I think it is clear we can expect great things from you, [westrack].”
The Cards traveled to Tufts for the Branwen Smith-King Invitational this past weekend and placed second out of sixteen teams. Uzamere finished first in the shot put event, and Mitchell placed fourth in the one-mile run. The Birds will look to build off this impressive event and build momentum when they travel to the Open New England Championship on Friday.
Andrew Martin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.