The Calm Before the Track & Field Storm

Alexandria Davidson ready and set before taking off in the 100 meter dash during the Oregon Relays/Arkansas Dual.

2013; Jason Hernandez

Alexandria Davidson ready and set before taking off in the 100 meter dash during the Oregon Relays/Arkansas Dual.

I love the moments just before a race when the runners set up their blocks and get into the proverbial “zone.”  Then an official’s voice is heard and states, in a voice like a NASA rocket launch countdown, “Runners warm up… sweats off… runners on your marks,” and finally, “Good luck ladies/gentlemen.”  It’s a voice that heightens the suspense of the moment, luring the audience into silent observation as they sit anxiously waiting for this momentous event to erupt at the pull of a trigger.  It’s an incredibly tense and dramatic moment that, when violently terminated, causes even the most seasoned fan to admit, “Get’s me every time.”

It’s the calm before the storm.  That may be a little cliché, but it’s true.  Recently this nervous tranquility has been increasingly palpable around Hayward as the track & field team gears up for their next big event – the West Preliminary Rounds of the NCAA Championships, held in Austin, Texas, starting May 23rd.

Dior Mathis taking off in the 4x100 meter race during the Oregon Relays/Arkansas Dual

2013; Jason Hernandez

Dior Mathis takes off in the 4×100 meter race during the Oregon Relays/Arkansas Dual.

This weekend marks the first time all season the team has not competed in some invitational, relay, or dual. Instead, many of the athletes can be seen getting their muscles worked on in the trainer’s office while others, such as Mac Fleet and Jordan Hassay, simply run quick laps around campus.  In other words, for once this season the track & field team is not doing a whole lot of anything. Instead, the name of the game here is rest, focus, and preparation as the nerves and tension slowly build in anticipation for the first big step of the post season this Thursday.

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Mathew Topolewski

Mathew Topolewski

Mathew recently graduated from the University of Oregon with a major in both English and Cinema Studies. Growing up he played Hockey his entire life, and was able to reach the Junior A level of play his Freshmen year of college. He therefore not only has an intense passion for sports, but has a unique understanding and appreciation for all athletes.