By: Alice Coughlin
The Lady Vikings traveled to Emory University for the Emory Track and Field Classic. The runners competed against more than 20 different teams at the well-established and competitive meet. There were 14 Berry College runners who graced the track on the second day of competition for the meet.
Every race is a chance for a runner to reflect upon their performance- to take pride, to form regrets, to plan for another hoped for race. The race results from the Emory Classic are proof that the senior runners have taken note to the reality of the ending of an era. Collegiate races are a commodity and after the Emory Classic, the senior Lady Vikings will have just three more chances to don the Berry College uniform. The seniors took advantage of a familiar venue and made it count.
The first senior to steal the show was Captain Sara Walcott. Walcott raced the seeded 5000 meters in a time of 18:34.62. In the final lap, Walcott was up against three other competitors for the top spot. Walcott took no prisoners and finished the race victoriously in first place.
When reflecting on her race, Walcott said, "I'm really happy with it. I've never won a race in college before, it was very exciting."
In the 1500 meters, seniors Casey Norris and Jenn Cook made major strides in their racing. Norris raced the unseeded 1500 meters in a time of 5:28.91 for 14th place in her heat and 26th place overall. This was Norris' first time breaking the 5:30 mark for the 1500 meters and it proved to be a significant personal record. Cook raced the seeded 1500 meters in a personal record of 4:42.24 for an impressive 4th place finish. Cook was up against one of the most competitive fields of the day and came just one second shy of a school record.
Senior Keri McGinnis, who is also a current member of the tennis team at Berry College, proved her dynamic athletic prowess in the 400 meters. McGinnis raced a personal record of 1:03.18 for 18th place.
Next for the Lady Vikings was the unseeded 3000 meters. Sophomore Charlotte Collins and junior Lauren Nation led the team by dominating the event. Collins raced to a first place finish in 11:44.20. Following close behind was Nation in second place with a time of 11:51.20. Senior Ellery Jones and freshman Hibah Abuhamdieh also had strong races in the 3000 meters. Jones raced to a 10th place finish with a time of 12:51.27 while Abuhamdieh raced to a 13th place finish in 13:45.30.
Three Lady Vikings competed in the 800 meters. Freshman Leslie Stewart was the first Lady Viking in the race with an overall place of 27th and a time of 2:50.63. Close behind Stewart was sophomore Katy Jordan in 28th place with a time of 2:50.71. Freshman Kayla Heflin raced the 800 meters in 2:56.93 for 31st place.
The final event for the women's team was the unseeded 5000 meters. Freshman Nicole Fredette raced the 5000 meters in 21:25.47 for 21st place. According to Coach Paul Deaton, Fredette ran a hard-fought race, leading the team in her heat. Senior Lauren Hicks ran to 27th place in 24:34.38. Also, freshman Annika Stryker raced the 5000 meters in 26:02.19 for 28th place.
The Lady Vikings will hit the track again on April 14 for the Cumberlands Invitational in Williamsburg, Ky.