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Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

SEU Track & Field athletes speak on meet performance, progress, outlook amidst ongoing season

Courtesy of Hilltoppers Athletics
Junior Sydney Smith runs in the first day of the meet at Texas State University. This is Smith’s third year on the team and the years of experience have helped her improve as an athlete. During the meet at Texas Southern University, she placed second in the mile event and set a personal best.

This March, the St. Edward’s University Men and Women’s Track & Field teams officially kicked off their spring season. The teams have so far competed at meets  hosted at Trinity University, Texas Southern University and, most recently, Texas State University. So far, athletes have had stellar performances, along with the new addition of competing in field events.

Student athletes started off the season by breaking school and program records. Some of these students include juniors Omar Guzman and Caroline Wildrick, who both finished first place in the 10,000 meter event at the Trinity Invitational. Multiple athletes also placed in top spots in the season’s first meets and broke personal bests. Track & Field Head Coach Steven Cary spoke on how these wins are important so early on in the season. 

“Every win is a notable win, every win is a big win,” Cary said. “Anytime you win a race, it feels good, and it’s important in building momentum and building confidence.”

We have also seen impressive performance from first-year athletes. Hogan Heikkinen is one of 12 freshmen on the team and had a good start to the season by finishing in fourth place at his first meet and improving his personal best in the 800 meter by five seconds. 

”Growth is my outlook,” Heikkinen said. “We can always get better, and our goal is to always try to compete and become a better, more competitive team.”

Returning athletes have also made great progress at the start of this season. This season marks junior Sydney Smith’s third year competing for the team. Smith continues to compete in the 1500 meter event, and recently decided to run the 5000 meter as well. So far, Smith mentions that she has set a personal best for the mile and placed second in the event at the Texas Southern meet. Smith said that she is excited to continue the season in hopes of her own self improvement and progress.

”I’m really excited because every year, for me, I feel like I’ve always gotten better,” Smith said. “It’s a progressive thing and I think this year will be really good for me, so I feel pretty good about this season.”

Freshman Michaela Fallon is the only field athlete at St. Edward’s. Competing in the discus event, Fallon placed eighth at the TSU relays.

In addition to SEU’s track athletes, this is the first year the program has offered positions in field events since the start of its operation. Freshman Michaela Fallon is, so far, the only athlete that is competing in discus, the only field event SEU has athletes for. Cary brings to mind that Fallon is not only the only field athlete, she is also the very first female fielder for St. Edward’s in the program’s history, so he appreciates her contributions on the team.

”It’s just really neat to have somebody that’s not competing in a running event and adds a different energy and another element to the team,” Cary said. “I think it’s really cool that she is able to pave that way for future athletes.”

Fallon has to follow a different standard as the only field athlete, which requires a new, different level of training and discipline than her track teammates. She has competed in the discus events for the meets she has attended so far, and though she claims to be nervous when going to compete, she has made great progress in her event, breaking the distance record three times.

“Continuing to improve my marks and reset the record with each improvement makes me feel honored to be the one to set them,” Fallon said. “Being able to set the standard for all the other throwers the team recruits after me makes me all the more proud to be on the team and represent the field events.”

Though the Track & Field team is nearing the middle of their season, the amount of work and effort made by each athlete is continuously evident in the improvements and progresses that are made each meet.

“It takes a lot, and it takes a special individual to be able to do what these athletes are doing and I think they’re doing a fine job,” Cary said.

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About the Contributor
Zemira Recio
Zemira Recio, Staff Writer
Zemira is a freshman and this is her first year being a Staff Writer for Hilltop Views. She is a political science major and aspires to become a lawyer someday. When she's not writing or doing schoolwork, her favorite past times are reading and painting.

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