•  

Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

December 6, 2019   |   Ithaca, NY

Sports

Women’s track and field strives for the national title

The Ithaca College women’s indoor track and field team completed last indoor season on a high note, and the squad aims to increase its presence at the NCAA Division III championships this year. 

During the last season, the Bombers won their 12th consecutive conference indoor title, which was also their second Liberty League indoor championship in a row. Senior runner Sarah Rudge, senior sprinter Amanda Wetmore and sophomore multi Logan Bruce qualified for the national championship. Head coach Jennifer Potter said that the coaching staff reevaluated the squad’s goals over the summer.

“When we started at our first team meeting in August, we talked about working toward thinking like we were going to win a national championship,” Potter said. “Whether we will or not, we’re going to work like it, train like it, act like it, think like it and live like it.”

The Bombers graduated eight seniors last year, notably Britney Swarthout ’19 and Gianna Folz 19. Folz was a team captain and got a Liberty League honorable mention for long jump during the 2017–18 season. Folz also made Liberty League All-Academic last season. Last season Swarthout made the U.S. Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCA) Indoor All-Region. During her time as a Bomber, she placed on the podium at the Indoor All-New York State Collegiate Track Conference Championship five times. 

Senior captain Estelle Yedynak said she is confident that the Bombers will be able to continue their history of success even without the graduated seniors. 

“I think carrying on similar goals but also making new ones, setting those goals and getting after them keeps that team dynamiceven when people leave, just living on their legacy,” Yedynak said.

During their preseason, the Bombers have incorporated a combination of training, cross-training and team bonding in their preparation.

“They have been lifting three days a week with our strength and conditioning coach,” Potter said. “Prior to that, they’ve been doing yoga on Tuesdays with our yoga instructor. On Thursdays, they’ve been doing a variety of things from playing games, doing line dances to workouts.”

Bruce said it is important for the team to bond even though the athletes mostly compete individually.

“Since the beginning of school, we meet each day, and we do practice,” said Bruce. “Some days we do yoga, some days we do team bonding activities. … We do a lot of team movie nights. We all get to bond in this fall semester.”

In the field events, senior thrower Kendall Wellauer is an athlete to watch this season. Last season, Wellauer made Liberty League Indoor First-Team for the weight throw and was Liberty League Indoor Champion in the same event. Wellauer was also Liberty League Indoor Field Performer of the Week during last season. 

Senior triple jumper Elizabeth Gee made the Liberty League Indoor Second-Team for triple jump in the past season. It was her second season in a row being selected to the second team for triple jump.

Rudge was a standout for the Bombers last year. Rudge made USTFCCCA Indoor All-Region for the mile and the 800meter run, and she was also the Liberty League Indoor Champion for the same events.

Bruce said an advantage for the Bombers is the competitive meets they attend.

“We go to Staten Island and compete at Ocean Breeze, which is a really big meet every year,” Bruce said. “Last year we got to compete against Division I schools, which was great, and I’m always looking forward to the nationals meet. That’ll be good every year so you gotta work really hard to get back there.”

The South Hill squad starts off the season with its first meet at 10 a.m. Dec. 7 in Ithaca at Cornell University’s Barton Hall.