Nader Hussein, ‘Doah Staff Writer
March 4, 2015
With both the men’s and women’s track and field teams preparing for the winter, indoor ODAC Championships on Sunday, Mar. 1 in Landover, Maryland, the teams will know that there are high expectations on them. With those short-term prospects, however, they will set the benchmark for what will be expected of them heading into the spring, outdoor season.
“Everything track-related builds up to the outdoor championships,” explained men’s and women’s coach Andrew Marrocco. “What we do this weekend at the championships is going to be a really good indicator as to when we’re peaked for the outdoor championships.”
But that does not mean that Coach Marrocco doesn’t expect great things from his teams this weekend, as well as throughout the year. To this point, Marrocco has been very impressed with the performance of the athletes and wants to build on that success this weekend and in the coming months leading to the outdoor championships in April.
Another point of optimism for Marrocco is how young the teams are, which will help build more success in the years to come. With only five senior women and one senior man, continuity will be a key factor for the teams going into next year. Also, the leadership of the teams will probably remain the same going into next year, with sophomore Matt Gussiaas, and junior Nicole Legare, being singled out by Marrocco as leaders of the teams.
Going into the weekend, Coach Marrocco discussed some of the strengths of the team, where he expects to gain points in the winter championships. The men’s long sprint runners, including sophomore Everton Eastwood and junior Ansel Borhauer, are expected to do well in the men’s individual 200-meter and 400-meter events, as well as contributing to the 1,600-meter relay. On the women’s side, a lot of pressure will be on senior Jaclyn Mohlmann, who will be competing in six events. Mohlmann is already a national qualifier in the pentathlon, as well as being the top seed in the high hurdles and high jump events.
As with all sports, track and field is not solely about talent. Motivation is a key factor in determining the success or failure of a team. Sophomore Danyelle McGrady has praised Coach Marrocco for his ability to motivate his athletes to push them to great things. “The coaches see the potential of each of the athletes and therefore encourage everyone to push themselves and to continuously improve.
Marrocco also shared his philosophy on educating the athletes. “We’re constantly trying to make them students of their sports,” he said. “We’re constantly talking about the science behind our sports.”
As the track and field season pushes into the spring season, great things are expected from the athletes by their coach, not only in the immediate future, but into the end of the season and in the years to come.