With the new year in full swing, Valparaiso’s Track and Field team are looking to strive for better marks this year. Head Coach Ryan Moore will be leading this new team in his 13th season. Under his leadership, the team looks to find success through cohesion as both a team and as a family.
“As a team, I think Valpo Track & Field has great comradery between our different events and even within. So I think building on that, improving our personal marks, and seeing how much we can push each other to be better than last year,” said senior sprinter Emanuel Daggett.
For the total sum of the first semester, the Track and Field team train to be able to get themselves in peak condition for the second semester. Moore and the staff have been focusing on making sure each of the athletes are ready to compete for their respective meets.
“My coach has really has been focusing on individualism. A lot of it has been ‘Get your stuff done, push yourself’,” said senior jumper Shannon Lahey.
This season, Valpo will be competing in 17 different races. The first race for Valpo happened on Dec. 6, which coincided during the two week stretch of preparing and taking finals. Although that race was counted and recorded, the race was used as a checkpoint for the Track & Field athletes to see how far they have come in their workouts.
“You spend most of the first semester getting into shape and getting to your peak condition. That first meet is for setting your marks: see where you are, see where you can improve upon,” Daggett said.
January has two races scheduled. One is the GVSU Bill Clinger Classic in Allendale Michigan on Saturday, Jan. 17. The second is the John Gartland Invitational in Terre Haute, Indiana on Saturday, Jan. 25.
February opens up with eight different races. The first is the Indiana Wesleyan Midwest Classic in Marion, Ind. On Feb. 7 and 8, the team travels back to Notre Dame to participate in the Meyo Invitational. Part of the team will also travel to the Windy City Invite scheduled on Feb. 8 in Chicago. On Feb. 14, part of the squad will go to the GVSU Big Meet in Allendale, Mich. Athletes that qualified will go to Ames, Iowa to participate in the Iowa State Classic on Feb. 14 and 15.
“I know year after year our head coach, because he does our schedule and he does all of our trip planning, he wants to make sure that we are competing at a high level,” Daggett said.
On February 22, Valpo goes back to Notre Dame for the third time to compete in the Alex Wilson Invitational. The month will wrap up the indoor season with the MVC Indoor Championship on Feb. 29 and March 1.
On March 20 and 21, Valpo go to the Bill Cornell Classic in Carbondale, Illinois to begin their outdoor season. Two weeks later, Valpo will be going to Illinois State for the Redbird Invite on April 3-4. Two weeks after that, the team competes again in Terre Haute for the Gibson Invitational.
From April 22-25, individual athletes that qualified will participate in the Drake Relays. On May 2, Valpo will host the Crusader Invite. Two weeks later, the team will fight for the gold in the MVC Outdoor Championship in Des Moines, Iowa.
Looking to the future, the team will be heading to compete at the GVSU Bill Clinger Classic. With no finals or thoughts of a semester ending in the future, the team is now a bit more focused on pushing themselves and creating new personal bests for the team and for each other.
“I think we have grown together as a team, especially with the transition to the Missouri Valley Conference. I think the growth is definitely there, and we continue on this upward pattern that we will be successful in what we do and make a name for Valpo,” Lahey said.