April 20, 2024

Hannah Preston | Banner Bismark Kipkilach, sophomore undeclared major and runner, trains in practice for the Stanford Invitational April 1 in Palo Alto, Calif.

The men’s and women’s track season is underway, and with preparation beginning in December the teams said they are excited for this spring season.

Ben Gall, head coach of the team, said he is excited to finally start competing and, even though injuries plagued the team earlier this year, he said the team is coming back strong.

“Overall, the team is doing well so we are feeling good about it,” Gall said. “We had a lot of sicknesses and nagging injuries that set quite a few of our athletes behind. But mostly everyone is back training now and will hopefully round into form as the season progresses.”

The athletes go through daily training specifically for their focused event, mixed in with weightlifting and core exercises. Gall said he is focused on preparing each athlete specifically and making sure to highlight their strengths.

“We spend quite a bit of time formulating race plans and strategies for each athlete,” Gall said. “They can execute races that will most successfully help them learn how to win or be competitive in their races.”

Both the men’s and women’s teams had a successful first meet at California State University, Los Angeles. Veronica Hall, senior runner and exercise science major, said she was surprised by her success because of the struggles she encountered earlier in the year.

“It was my first race back after having knee surgery this fall,” Hall said. “Walking away with a win and a new school record has me excited for the rest of the season.”

One of the targets for the teams is the PacWest Championships in April, but the biggest focus for the team is to get many athletes to the NCAA championships in May.

Valentin Robert, senior business administration major, received an All-American award last season and is hoping to go even further in his success this season.

“It is really cool to practice hard, succeed and feel like you didn’t practice for nothing,” Robert said.

The teams will meet April 1 in Palo Alto for the Stanford Invitational.

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