Track Looks To Continue Record-Setting Season At Patriot League Championships
BALTIMORE - For the Loyola University Maryland indoor track team, this has been a record-setting season. The Greyhounds have set seven individual school records and a relay mark over the last few months.
The Greyhounds will be hoping for more of that type of success when they compete for the Patriot League indoor track championship this weekend. The meet will take place at Gerhard Field House on campus of Bucknell University. Loyola's Championships get underway on Saturday, February 17 at 2:00 p.m. The final day of the meet is set for Sunday, February 18 at 12:00 p.m.
"This season has been a pleasure," said Head Coach Amy Horst. "The best part of it has been watching our athletes reach the high expectations we've had for them; they are seeing what (the coaches have) seen all along.
"We have a team that is bursting with confidence. We are very excited to compete again, and we think our best races are ahead of us."
Loyola has been led by the talented Cordelia McGinn. A senior from Bronx, New York, McGinn has already set three individual records this season.
McGinn, who finished ninth in the Patriot League cross country championship meet in the fall, set a school record in the 1000-meter with a time of 2:51.74 last week at the Navy Sweetheart Multi-Mix. At the Terrapin Invitational last month, McGinn set the school 800-meter record in 2:12.97, and the following weekend she won the mile at Navy's Wes Brown Invitational in a school-record time of 4:54.98. Earlier this week, she was named the Patriot League Runner of the Week, and she is also an ECAC qualifier in three events.
"Cordelia is experiencing a culmination of all of her hard work," said Horst. "She knows she has the ability, and she has learned how to use it. This has been a quite a year for her so far." Freshmen Courtney Kenny and Senna Ohlsson also set individual records this season. Kenny set a record in the 200 meters (0:25.69) at the Wes Brown Invitational, and in the same meet, Ohlsson broke the record in the 500 meters (1:13.82).
"Courtney and Senna have come on very strong for us this season," said Horst. 'We knew they were both very talented, and it's been nice to see the progress they have been making."
Sophomore Rachel Koller also broke a school record when she ran the 300 meters (43.45) at the Terrapin Invitational.
Freshman Kathleen Shepherd has been a talented addition to the team. In a very short time, Shepherd has set the school record in the long jump (5.39 meters) and she has the third best showing in the triple jump (10.88 meters). On the track, her time in the 60-hurdles is the third best showing in program history.
"We usually don't focus on the field events," said Horst. "But Kathleen came to us as a hurdler with a lot of strength and power. We gave her a try in the long jump and triple jump, and she has done well. She is ranked among the best in the Patriot League."
The Greyhounds should be strong in the 400 meters. The school record holder, Molly Smith broke mark at last year's Patriot League Championship, and she ran her best time of the season last week. Smith, Kenny and Ohlsson own the nine fastest 400 times in program history.
The Greyhounds' 4x200 relay team also set a school record this season. Sophomore Ariana Santa Pietro, freshman Danielle Spano, freshman Rhoda Miller and freshman Katherine Schramm broke the record with a time of 1:47.34 earlier this month.
At last season's Patriot League Championships, three of Loyola's relay teams qualified for the ECAC Championships, and the Greyhounds are looking for more solid performances in the relays this year.
The Greyhounds finished eighth in the Patriot League indoor meet last season, their best showing since joining the league four years.
Horst's pride in this year's accomplishments are evident as she displays a list of the top-20 performers in the Patriot League for each event.
She said, "Last year on this sheet, I looked at the lists and we had three people ranked among the top-20. When I looked at it this week, we have people all over these lists. I think we have three in the mile, two in the 800 and our 4x400 relay team is fourth. That is such a positive sign."