Track & Field freshmen shine at invitational meet


Photo courtesy of Rhodes College.

Adrian Pascotto '22, Sports Editor

 Rhodes College Track and Field hosted their first home track meet of the season from March 15 to March 16, consisting of more than 30 collegiate teams. With competition from D1, D2, and D3 schools, this meet was one of the largest that Rhodes College has ever held. The Rhodes Track and Field program swept the conference championship last year, and are hoping to do the same in this 2019 season. Last year, the men’s and women’s teams were crowned SAA Conference champions, making it the 11th consecutive win for the women’s team. The men’s cross country team placed seventeenth this year, which is the highest ranking in the team’s history. The team has plans to dominate once again in the SAA Conference Championship in April. 

   Graduating seniors made up half of the team’s overall score at conference last year, but the new freshman class is hoping to pick up the slack with a few star recruits. Alli Cundiff ’22 placed seventh in the 100-meter hurdles this past weekend. She has big plans to help lead the team to their twelfth consecutive win.

   “I plan to keep working my hardest and stay determined, physically and mentally, on and off the track. As a freshman it is sometimes hard to feel as if you are making an impact, but I feel that leading by example is the best way to do it,” Cundiff said.  

   Along with Cundiff, Maddie Chandler ’22 placed fifth in the long jump with a mark of 5.27 meters and Aubrey McKittrick-Troop ’22 placed seventh in the triple jump with a mark of 10.61. All three of these freshmen are projected to help the women’s team succeed in the SAA Championship. 

   On the men’s side, there are still many athletes on the team who have been making improvements throughout the off season. One freshman to look out for is Billy Clark ’22, who placed eighth in the men’s 400-meter dash.

   “Track is second nature to me, but as a freshman I try to learn new things from the upperclassmen and carry those lessons with me to help benefit our team in the future,” Clark said. 

   It will be a challenge for both teams to clinch the conference title this season, but there is no doubt they will put up a fight. 

   “We are obviously concerned on the women’s side about our ability to repeat as conference champs due to graduating such a strong group,” Shankman said. “But… [we] expect that the freshman will definitely have an immediate impact on our program.”