With two meets under their belts, Doane’s track and field teams are keeping their focus on outdoor season competition, despite some setbacks.
According to ustfccca.org, Doane’s track team was placed seventh overall in the first week of national rankings. Head Coach Ed Fye said the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) was ranked at the top, as the most competitive conference in the country.
Senior women’s team captain Emily Harsin said the team has already had multiple athletes qualify for the national meet taking place in Gulf Shores, Ala. This included Harsin herself as she hit the provisional qualifying standard in the 400-meter hurdles.
Senior men’s team captain Ben Berreckman also qualified for the national meet with an automatic qualifying mark in the shot put and a provisional qualifying mark in the discus.
Berreckman said this was only the beginning of the success for the team this season and expected to see more of it soon.
“When the weather is nice I expect some records to be broken and for people to go off,” Berreckman said.
Fye said the recent weather had certainly been a frustrating factor in practices and meets so far.
Over the past week, Doane has seen an unexpected hit of winter weather, with cold winds and inches of snow, forcing the team to hold most practices in Fuhrer Fieldhouse. This has made it difficult for some athletes to get practice in for their events, as the outdoor season includes javelin, discus and longer lengths for running events.
Despite this, Fye said the team was very fortunate to have an indoor facility as they were still able to cross train and stay active.
Harsin said the team has kept itself in good spirits despite the weather and training difficulties.
“The atmosphere has been positive,” Harsin said. “There are a lot of people working hard to get better.”
Fye said the main focus of this part of the season is to see which events are currently doing the best and which ones will score the team the most points when the conference and national meets come around. He said this could require moving athletes to different events at some meets to see how they perform.
As a team captain, Berreckman said the biggest thing he’s emphasized to the team thus far was learning how to perform during the big meets that require it, such as conference and nationals.
Fye agreed with Berreckman and said conference, not nationals, was usually the meet that the team focused on the most. This is mostly due to the fact that the GPAC is currently the top conference in the nation, meaning Doane is already competing against the nation’s best on a regular basis.
“Not that we don’t focus on it (nationals)” Fye said, “But concentrating on the conference meet takes care of the national level.”
Berreckman shared Fye’s focus on the conference as he said he wanted the team to win the GPAC meet by any means necessary. As for nationals, Berreckman believed the team has a legitimate chance at bringing home a top-four trophy.
Doane’s next meet is scheduled for April 13 in Lincoln against longtime rivals Nebraska Wesleyan University.