With the fall semester coming to a close, indoor track and field is just about to begin.
Both teams have been the ones to beat in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) in recent years, with the men’s team winning titles every year since 2015. The women’s team has not won the GPAC championship since 2018; however, they had won the seven years prior.
With such success coming from the team, it is natural to have high expectations, not only from coaches but from the athletes themselves. With seasons going unfinished last year, there has been a lot of desire to perform well to make up for the last season.
Junior Jacob Hruska noted the drive the team has since their season was cut short last spring.
“A lot of us have been working hard since we heard the news that we were not coming back to school last year. It has been showing a lot with every practice that we have now. We are pushed by the fact that our season was stolen from us,” Hruska said.
Fellow junior Maddy Sladky said she has been preparing for the season through her involvement in cross country, but she noted her concern in believing the season will be able to run its course.
“I was confident that the season would play out, but with Doane's campus getting heavy with cases again, (it) kind of makes me hesitate. Indoor track is kind of a bad pair with COVID just because it's a bunch of runners together in a small, stuffy place,” Sladky said.
Sophomore Daniel Ortiz agreed with Sladky, saying how it is not the best case scenario to be inside for the purpose of preventing COVID.
“It will be a lot more difficult to stay six feet apart with the limited space, but I’m sure masks will still be required. It will be an interesting season for sure,” Ortiz said.
Hruska talked about how impressed he was with how hardworking the team is, and he believes it will lead them to great results.
“This is by far the hardest-working team since I got here. We are ready to show everyone what we have. We have a huge freshman class that wants to show everyone what they can do,” Hruska said.
All three runners were in agreement that the team was competing for nothing less than a championship.
“Doane track and field always has a conference championship in their mind. We are expected to give 100 percent effort everyday, and everyone does an amazing job cheering and pushing the team,” Sladky said.
Hruska took it one step further, stating that the teams would be putting up some new decorations in Fuhrer Fieldhouse.
“The success that I see us having is gonna be shown on some banners in the Fieldhouse come next year,” Hruska said.
The season for the teams has two different start dates. The Happy Holidays Men’s and Women’s Heptathlon will begin on Dec. 4, with 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200-meter dash, long jump, javelin and 800-meter run. The Happy Holidays Invite is scheduled for Dec. 6 and will involve all track and field athletes. Both events will be held at home at Fuhrer Fieldhouse.