By: Will Pitts
The outdoor track and field season for Goucher kicked offwith the University of Mary Washington College Meet in Fredricksburg, VA on Saturday, March 18th.
But don’t be fooled. Although the outdoor season has just started, it’s merely the third leg of a much longer season that started all the way back in August. The cross-country schedule ran from September to November, and the indoor season ran from December to February. However, only a few athletes actually run the entire schedule.
The team is still riding momentum from an indoor season where they posted their best finish at the Landmark Championships in five years. But they still have room to grow. An astounding 27 out of 36 athletes on the team are freshmen, and only four are seniors. To make it through the season, they’ll need firm leadership. That’s where head coach John Caslin comes in.
John Caslin has coached Goucher track and field in some form since 1994. In his long tenure with the Gophers, he’s seen it all. “When I first came to the college, it was not an athletic college, per se,” said Caslin, “In that timeframe, because of [athletic director Geoffrey] Miller and the work that he’s done…we’ve certainly seen a better mixture of college ‘student-athletes’, students who do very well in class who also are athletes.”
One of those student athletes is freshman Natalie Kent, who was just named the Landmark Conference’s Athlete of the Week after a sensational performance at last week’s meet. Kent set a new school record with a distance of 33.26 meters in the discus throw event, good enough for second place at the meet.
Caslin believes that the outdoor leg of the season is where the team has its best days ahead of them, especially after an indoor season that was played entirely on the road. Goucher, like most other schools, lacks an indoor track and field facility.
“We traveled to four or five different places,” said Caslin. “The outdoor season is our strongest season because we’re able to do everything we need to do with our beautiful outdoor facility.”
On March 25th , that facility will play host to Goucher’s only home event of the season, the Goucher College Track & Field Classic. Ten Division III colleges will enter from all over the country, including Baldwin-Wallace out of Berea, Ohio, whose women’s outdoor team ranked second in the nation last year.
(Image source: Goucher Athletics. Picture of: Natalie Kent.)