Coming off of an incredible Cross Country season, the Seattle University Track and Field team is making big moves this upcoming 2019 season. This year’s team is 64 athletes strong, with 32 of them competing for the first time at Seattle U.
“It’s a really good progression, senior guys and fifth-year senior guys were really excited with their performances,” Assistant Coach Chad Pharis said. “On the women’s side, we had a very young team, so they got great experience to use for the next two seasons.”
This year’s Track and Field team brought in the largest recruiting class ever, made up of 32 total new athletes, the majority first-years, with a handful of transfers.
“With the numbers we have, depth will be a lot better this year, if nothing else,” Pharis said. “We will be able to fill more events throughout each meet. We will have more relays which means we will be competitive within our relay pools, and a lot of people will be fighting for those opportunities which will be good.”
In addition to 32 new athletes, Seattle U also brought in four additional volunteer coaches. These coaches are not paid and have donated their time to the betterment of the program and its athletes.
“The biggest benefit [of having so many coaches] is that every athlete will be going into competition more prepared than we have been in the past. The goal of every competition is to show up ready to compete, not still working on things. Everyone will be showing up a little more confident and prepared,” Pharis said.
Steve Brown, team captain and a third-year hurdler, said the fact that the indoor season is so short means the team knows they have to make every race count.
“I think the majority of the new guys haven’t even raced indoor yet, so it will be exciting to see how they perform on the shorter track and in that type of environment.”
Brown also said that in his time at Seattle U, this is the best shape he’s seen the team in at this time of year.
Coach Pharis is looking forward to seeing how everyone will perform at the first few meets of the
“It’s hard to know performance ahead of time, looking at overall energy and the passion everyone has is outstanding. Everybody is doing what they need to do to be ready to go. We will see once we get on the starting line what performances are.”
This year, the Track and Field team has a very busy competition schedule, between both the Indoor and Outdoor season. Athletes will be competing starting January 12 all the way until Mid-May. The meets scheduled for the team are scattered across the Western United States, with the Indoor Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championship in Nampa, Idaho, and the Outdoor WAC Championship Meet in Orem, Utah at Utah Valley University.
Seattle U Track and Field is getting really excited for the upcoming season and are hoping to pump up the rest of their fanbase and community as well.
“In the past, not a lot of people have supported the team at meets, or even known the team was away traveling and competing.” Brown said. “It’s really fun and helpful when people show up and support us. We have five meets at UW and it’s easy to just hop on the train and cheer us on. I hope that this year we have people be aware of when we’re gone competing, where we are, and how we’re doing.”
Junior Laurel Mack-Wilson, a high jumper, stated that while the workouts have grown more intense, the team still finds plenty of time to bond with one another.
“This year we have done a really good job getting to know each other better and reaching out to everybody. Just making sure we keep the family dynamic going,” Mac-Wilson said.
Despite welcoming a plethora of new faces to the team, Seattle U’s Track and Field team has done a great job in preparing their athletes for the upcoming season.
“You are going to hear us more this year,” Pharis said. “Having a bigger team will help us be more visible and improve our general culture. Everybody is supporting each other, and everybody knows who each other is, so for having half the team brand new, it’s been really positive to see how everybody has come together.”
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