Golden Eagles prepare to throw down this season
There’s a certain amount of adrenaline that pumps through the body when it’s time for an athlete to perform. For throwers on The College at Brockport’s track and field team, it is no different. Picking up the weight or the shot put instantly puts them in a place where they know they can excel and know they have to score in order to support their team.
This season, the throwers, both men’s and women’s, are ready to go all the way to regionals and then to nationals. The goal is to improve each meet and, for those who were here in seasons past, to continue to improve.
There are quite a few underclassmen in the throwing ranks but that does not worry the coach nor the returning athletes; all throwers are improving with each practice.
For senior Jon Rogers last season was a success with multiple personal records and getting to compete at the national level. For this season Rogers is only aiming higher, hoping to leave a record to remember once he crosses the stage in May.
“Every year you want to get better,” Rogers said. “Right off the bat my goal is to win nationals this year. It’s the last year, trying to leave a mark. It’d be cool to win nationals.”
Rogers also explained his and the team’s approach to performing to their highest potential this season.
“All fall semester we’ve been lifting four or five days a week,” Rogers said. “So I have to go to as many of those as I can, get stronger and faster and when we come here to practice we have to keep our mind set on technique and things like that.”
The throwers kept level heads as they headed into their first meet and although they have high expectations for the season as a whole this first meet was described as a test run to see where each of the athletes stands and how far they have to go in order to accomplish their individual goals.
“Right now we’re very in the starting phases of the season and a lot of it is shaking the dust off,” sophomore Gunner Rapone said. “Right now I’m just in the in-between phase where I know what I’m capable of and I just have to keep a level head to achieve it at the end.”
The women’s throwers lost quite a few high scoring athletes last year but this season the team still has sophomores Alise Murray, Gabrielle Hoose and Jessica Craven, who have all proven their worth in Spring 2016 and in the first meet of the season as all three continue to improve and throw at a high skill level. As the season continues, the goal for the women is to definitely place high in SUNYACs and even send some athletes to the national arena.
“The women throwers are looking fantastic,” Murray said. “We’re looking to do very well this year … The new people that are coming in are fitting in perfectly and they’re looking amazing and the returners are looking fantastic.”
Even with this bright and optimistic outlook the athletes know there are areas they need to work on specifically in order to reach the high standards they have set for themselves. Getting to nationals will not come without a lot of dedication and hard work from each of the throwers. Speaking with them about why they keep returning season after season to compete shows just how willing each and every one of them is to make the necessary sacrifices and long hours at practice to earn their place in SUNYACs and beyond.
The camaraderie of the team and the bond which has developed between the athletes is one of the consistent answers as to why the throwers continue to pour their all into the events they love. The familial atmosphere is one in which all of them feels they can be themselves and not be afraid to discover themselves as well as new skills throughout the season.
“I’ve fallen in love with the sport and on top of that the people who I compete with and who compete for Brockport and who are on the team with me are some of my best friends in Brockport,” Murray said. “They’re like your family.”
With this sentiment in mind this family is ready to throw down this season and prove to the region and, hopefully the nation, that the Golden Eagles are a name to remember.
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