On Feb. 17, Wellesley Track & Field competed in the New England Division III Indoor Championships hosted by Springfield College. The Blue was represented by Tatenda Rameau ’20, Taylor Mahlandt ’20 and Isabella King ’18.
Mahlandt led the team in the 5,000 meter, placing ninth overall with her time of 18:26.56. In the same event, King placed 22nd overall with a time of 19:11.75. Rameau competed in the 60 meter, in which she recorded a time of 8.11, finishing 21st overall. That PR-breaking performance followed her 5.02-meter long jump, which earned her a 16th place overall finish.
While these three athletes represented the Blue, Priscilla Lee ’18 makes it clear that they received a lot of support and encouragement from the rest of the team. One unique aspect of the team is its untraditional athlete leadership. Although all athletes are supported by head Coach Phil Jennings and Assistant Coaches Althea Johnson, Katie Adams and Joseph Lauer, one of the team’s strengths is collective participation, giving all athletes a way to contribute to Wellesley Track & Field’s overarching success.
Naturally, seniors like Lee still take on more of a leading role, but, as she emphasized, “I’m just one of the seniors on the team. We don’t have any official captains. Instead, we rely on people stepping up to take responsibilities for certain things like setting up meetings, booking rooms, handling gear orders, maintaining team traditions, et cetera.”
The outcomes of this supportive environment are clear going into the outdoor season later this semester. Lee observed, “The team has progressed a lot! We’re all going up in weight in the weight room, and that’s exciting. Also, it’s neat to see everyone’s running form and times improve.”
Saturday marks the final day of competition in the regular season. Going forward, Lee says “I’m really proud of the strong sense of support we’ve developed as a team in our indoor season. And I’m excited for an even more fun outdoor season. Looking forward to, and hoping for, some beautiful weather.”
While the Track & Field schedule notes that the team’s next meet is the Tufts Last Chance Qualifier this Saturday, which is the final opportunity for athletes to earn a place at the Division III NCAA Championships, Lee and the rest of the team remain unsure if anyone has qualified and will be competing. She pointed out that “Our head coach, Phil Jennings, will probably make an announcement at our team meeting on Tuesday about whether or not anyone is racing at Tufts this weekend.”
Fans can expect to support the Blue throughout the spring outdoor season, which kicks off with major competitions like the U.S. Coast Guard Invitational in April, following the indoor championships in early March.