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Nicholls track and field prepares for Southland Conference Championships
April 25, 2018
The Nicholls State University women’s track and field team completed their final meet of the regular season last Saturday, April 21, at the Louisiana State University Invitational in Baton Rouge.
The Colonels competed against a multitude of teams and unattached runners from Southland Conference (SLC) and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) schools, including SLC opponents from McNeese State University, Northwestern State University and Southeastern Louisiana University.
Redshirt junior Taylor Douglas, senior Lucija Barac and redshirt junior Courtney Troxclair competed in the women’s 3000 Steeplechase with finishing times of 13:27.82, 13:35.34 and 13:47.45, respectively.
For all three runners, that was the first time they had ever competed in the Steeplechase event, which involves four ordinary barriers and one water barrier per lap that the runner must hurdle. The three competitors took the sixth, seventh and eighth spots on the All-Time Performance list for the track and field program.
Seniors Callie Scull and Emily Sauce, along with junior Brice Davis, competed in the women’s 800 with times of 2:17.44, 2:20.74 and 2:51.04. Scull achieved a new personal best, and jumped to the no. eight performer for Nicholls on the All-Time list.
Sophomore Maerys Joseph ran in the women’s 400, and finished at 58.12, along with a 26.80 finish in the 200. Following close behind her were teammates, juniors Lakeisha and Ieisha Taylor and sophomore Mykia Scott, with times of 27.53, 27.84 and 28.45 respectively.
Scott and senior Alondriah Brown also represented Nicholls in the women’s 100 meter with finishing times of 13.39 and 12.77, respectively.
The women’s 1500 meter included freshman Eleana Callejas and seniors Hannah Naquin and Emily Werenskiold. Their times were 5:03.96, 5:07.88 and 5:34.36, respectively. Callejas and Werenskiold reached new personal records.
Nicholls also competed in the women’s 100 meter hurdles, the women’s 4 x 400 relay, the women’s long jump and the Javelin. The Colonels reached a new season’s best in the relay, and Lakeisha Taylor earned a new season’s best in the hurdles.
THERE’S A FIRST FOR EVERYTHING
After her first time competing in the Steeplechase, Lucija Barac, who is a converted volleyball player, reflected on her experience.
According to Barac, competing in a new event was nerve-wracking, but well worth the challenge. “It was tough, but interesting and fun at the same time. I was worried more to jump over the barriers than what my time would be, since I literally didn’t know what I got myself into. The first time I tried to jump over the barrier was 15 minutes before the race, so I was nervous, but excited to try something new.”
Barac also said having other teammates compete alongside her in the event helped ease her nerves and help her enjoy a new experience.
“It helped that Taylor and Courtney were in the same position, so we understood each other. It motivated us that we are in this. The main reason I wanted to try something new is because just running in a circle sometimes gets boring, so I felt adding a few jumps won’t kill me.”
In the end, Barac said running is all about hard work and not giving up, no matter the event. “Running is all about pushing yourself to the limit and not giving up, and to push as hard as I can.”
SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Now that the team has completed their final meet of the regular season, they have their sights set on the SLC Championships which are scheduled to take place next Thursday, May 3, in San Antonio, TX.
Barac said she has set individual goals for herself and that the team as a whole is ready.
“We are all excited about the SLC Outdoor Championships because we will see the final results of all the hard work we put into this sport. I really cannot compare myself, who is in this sport for about seven months, to people who have been doing this for years” Barac said.
“My goal is to give my best, not be scared and push the hardest as possible for one more time. I believe the girls will prove how hard they’ve been working, and I believe a lot of PR’s will be achieved,” Barac said.
Barac said a big reason why she joined the team was to be there for her teammates whether they come in first or last, and to help head coach Stefanie Slekis and the program improve.
During the SLC Indoor Championships at the end of February, multiple members of the team earned new personal bests, thus proving they could step up their pace and perform at a high level when it mattered the most.
The SLC Championships will be the last opportunity for the Nicholls track and field athletes to compete as a group against the other teams within the SLC.