The Wesleyan men’s and women’s track and field teams are still going strong.

At the Wesleyan Invitational on Feb. 3, first-year phenom Kyron Roberts continued to shine: Roberts won the 400m dash with an impressive time of 51.75 seconds. Roberts has racked up numerous first-place finishes in previous events, and it doesn’t look like he will be stopped from achieving greatness as a first-year student. Roberts, however, is aware of the long road ahead, as the spring season picks up just as the winter one ends.

“It seems we are off to a good start,” Roberts said.“Everyone has been working really hard at practice, and it shows at the meets. We continue to improve, and we look forward to the competition!”

Hopefully, Roberts can retain this sense of optimism as the dog days of the season arrive.

In the same meet, Andrew McCracken ’19 finished second in the pole vault. McCracken has been the veteran leading the charge all season, finishing sixth in the pole vault during the Fastrack National Invite on Feb. 9.

“It is always a slow start at the beginning of the indoor season, and much of it is used working to get back to where we finished at the end of the previous year,” McCracken said. “I believe this to be true for most teams, as time is needed to shake off the rust. I would say we are on the way to being stronger and faster than before. Individually, my season is progressing as I hoped. The rust is gone, and I have bested by previous year. Now, I have the rest of my season to focus on improving and helping my teammates to do the same.”

McCracken looks like he has taken the role as a leader on the team by looking for improvements not only from himself, but also from his teammates.

“It is true that our team is young, and my role as an upperclassman has yet to fully sink in,” he said. “There are still many seniors on the team who are very effective leaders. I look up to and admire them for their dedication to the team and hope that the underclassmen can see me in the same way as I begin to adopt my role as a team leader.”

McCracken understands that his role on the team transcends his individual performances; his leadership has paid off due to the University’s continued improvement throughout the season.

Wesleyan will compete in the New England Division III Championship on Feb. 16 and 17, where the Cards can demonstrate their improvement over the course of this winter.

The women’s track and field team has continued to shine. Individually, Ivie Uzamere ’21 turns heads as she shatters program records. In the Wesleyan Indoor Invitational on Feb. 3, Uzamere beat another program record as she posted an impressive 17.43 meters in the weight throw.

“While track and field is considered a team sport, track and field also has a lot to with the individual,” Uzamere said. “Whether you are a runner, thrower, or a jumper, eyes are only on you when it is your time to shine. So I think that it is very important for every athlete to set their own goals and expectations, but it is also important to realize that you may not always meet those goals and expectations. To be completely honest, there are individuals on the track and field team who may not have met their goals and expectations, but our coaches always emphasize learning from your mistakes. It is extremely okay to fail because failure is a path to knowledge and growth, and my mistakes have most definitely made me stronger.”

Junior Julia Mitchell placed 27th with a time of 5:05.34 in the mile at the Fastrack National Invite. She has been a crucial team member all year and a leader to the underclassmen. It’s clear that Mitchell has continued to be a force not only on the track during events, but also in practices.

“Track teams are generally slightly divided purely due to the nature of the different events, so, although we are all a big happy family, we practice within our own subsection of the family,” Mitchell said. “I don’t know that it is because I am a junior necessarily, but our women’s distance team is particularly small this semester (seven beautiful souls), so I think we all had to step up and take on some type of leadership. Last year we had five seniors, all of whom took different leadership roles, so as a sophomore and a freshman, I could lounge around and never really had to think about being a leader. I would say, however, that our senior, our two sophomores, and I have all taken part in leading our little distance squad.”

The women’s team will also compete in the New England Division III Championship on Feb. 16 and 17. The squad has performed well all season and looks to carry their momentum into this important event.

Andrew Martin can be reached at akmartin@wesleyan.edu.

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