The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

MAAC on track: A look at women’s indoor track and field

Peyton McKenzie
Sophomore Erin Brennan won the pole vault title at the 2022-23 MAAC Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Fall brought Quinnipiac women’s cross country to its second-consecutive MAAC Championship. In the winter months, Quinnipiac is slated to finish second for a consecutive year in women’s indoor track and field, per the MAAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Bobcats tallied 179 points in the meet but fell short of Rider’s 193 points.

This year, the indoor track and field team aims to surpass that success and clinch the MAAC.

“We’re going to try to win (the MAAC) this year,” junior sprinter Rylie Smith said.

At the 2022-23 MAAC Indoor Track and Field Championships, Smith earned a state medal and set the program record 400-meter run with a time of 55.21.

“My freshman year I had a really hard time,” Smith said. “The summer before my sophomore year, I knew I had to make a change. It’s really important to build up before the season starts.”

According to Smith, head coach Carolyn Martin has adjusted preseason workouts. “They’ve (Runners) been doing meet situation(s) at practice,” Martin said. The Bobcats are working to build endurance and maintain speed in every event.

“We lost a few staples to the team but the freshmen that came in (have) been doing well,” Smith said. “Everyone has improved so much from last year.”

The loss of Emily Young leaves a hole in the middle distance part of the team. Young competed in six seasons with the Bobcats, taking home the gold for the 800-meter during the MAAC Indoor Track and Field Championships.

However, Quinnipiac returns a handful of runners who had impressive indoor campaigns.

“This year, (we’ve) got more upperclassmen that are taking that step to show these kids,” head coach Carolyn Martin said referencing the large returning sophomore class.

Last season, the Bobcats’ dominant 4×400 squad of Smith, then junior Alyssa Romagnoli and former freshmen Sydney Lavelle and Izzie Anzaldo won the relay in the MAAC Championships.

Then freshman jumper Erin Brennan earned first in the MAAC Championships pole vault and broke the program record of 3.46 meters. Junior jumper and sprinter Olaitan Olagundoye placed first in the high jump, recording 1.65 meters.

“I’m trying to bring everyone together (and) always be positive,” said Smith, regarding a larger leadership role. “We’re all very close so we feed off each other’s energy.”

On Saturday, Quinnipiac began its campaign at Boston University’s Sharon Colyear-Danville Season Opener.

“(The meet) was night and day from last year to this year,” Martin said.

The Bobcats continued their success in the 4×400-meter relay with a third place finish in their season opener. This was accompanied by a handful of top- 10 performances from the team. Junior Avery Jordan won the 60-meter hurdles and Olagundoye finished second in the high jump.

Quinnipiac’s new blood shined as freshman Olivia DeBellis placed third in the pole vault, freshman Meghan Stellhorn finished fifth in the shot put and freshman Shaelyn Murphy lept to a three-way tie for fourth place in the high jump.

“(DeBellis and Murphy) were really poised and ready to go,” Martin said. “They didn’t seem flustered at all to compete hard.”

During last season’s opening meet at Boston University, Smith finished 10th in the 300-meter run. This year, she placed seventh.
“(We’re) putting our best foot forward so that we can compete the best we can,” Smith said. “I’m excited to see what we can do.”

With one meet under its belt in the 2023-24 season, Quinnipiac’s upperclassmen raised the stakes for the team’s future success.
For Martin, the key to success is simple: “Build great relationships, build great culture (and) teach these younger kids exactly what it’s like to be a Quinnipiac student-athlete.”

The Bobcats are back in action Dec. 9 at the Yale Season Opener.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Amanda Dronzek
Amanda Dronzek, Sports Editor
Peyton McKenzie
Peyton McKenzie, Creative Director

Comments (0)

All The Quinnipiac Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *