The women’s indoor track team had a season that will go down as one of the best in the program’s history. Capturing both team and individual titles all year long, the Bombers were able to finish the season off ranked No. 7 in the nation by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
The South Hill squad won the Empire 8, Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference and New York State Collegiate Track Conference championships, and sent three members to the NCAA Championships at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind.
“It was great to be so successful as a team, winning Empire 8’s, states and ECAC’s,” sophomore Heidi Baumbach said. “ECACs was especially exciting because that’s only happened once before in 1989.”
Sophomore Emma Dewart said the team did not expect to win ECACs, but with the result, the Bombers are ready to head outdoors.
“We are a very young and talented team that has a lot in store for the upcoming spring season and years to come.”
Knowing that they were one of the top teams in the nation, the Bombers went into the season focused on bringing home the hardware when the championship meets came around. Training both the mind and body on and off the track, the team went into each meet prepared both physically and psychologically to do their best.
“There was a lot of ambition this year, which was reflected in the championship trophies we brought home,” junior Marcia McCord said.
Three Bombers earned trips to the NCAA Championship meet this year, which was held on March 12 and 13. Combined, the Bombers scored 13 points, earning a tie for 16th place in the team standings with DePauw University.
Finishing the season for the second year in a row with All-American honors was Dewart, who was second in the pentathlon. Improving upon her seventh-place finish last year, Dewart scored 3,494 points, just 14 points under her school record of 3,508, which she set earlier this year.
Going into the championship, Dewart said she knew what she needed to do — be calm and consistant.
“Opening up with a second-place finish in the hurdles and a first-place in the high jump definitely helped me stay focused and relaxed for the rest of the day,” she said.
Dewart also tied for third in the open high jump, clearing 1.66 meters and gaining another All-America honor.
But, she said her fondest memory was stepping up onto the podium.
Graduate student Lauren Koppel also competed at nationals in the pentathlon, finishing 16th with 2,951 points.
McCord said she was slightly disappointed with her performances during the two-day meet.
“I went into the meet itself feeling calmer than I normally do, so I thought all was well,” she said. “Unfortunately, things didn’t pan out that way. My 400 was consistent with previous times, so no surprise there, however my jumps were all over the place.”
McCord finished third in her heat of the 400-meter, sixth in round one of the triple jump, and ninth in the long jump, making it to the finals.
“I’m still thinking we’re going to do big things,” McCord said.