Track and Field ODACs results in nine medalists

The VWU Track and Field team excels at the 2023 Indoor Track and Field Championships in Salem, Va.

Featured Image: Freshman Julia Hathaway, senior Geni Roberts and sophomore Norah Ciano pose for a photo with their medals at the 2023 Indoor ODAC Track and Field Championships at Roanoke College in Salem, Va. Ryan Purrington | Courtesy

On Feb. 25-26, the Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams competed in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Indoor Track & Field Championships in Salem, Va. at Roanoke College. Several Marlins on the men’s team claimed individual championship titles, helping the team place 4th overall. The women’s team placed 6th overall.

Senior Geni Roberts became a four-time champion in the long and triple jump with a 7.13m in the long jump and a 15.05m in the triple jump to break his previous best and school record of 14.92m. 

Roberts’s school record in long jump is now 7.36m after competing at the 2023 DIII NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships on March 10 in Birmingham, Ala.

Senior Terrian Smith claimed first in the high jump with a new school record of 1.96m. 

“My advice to people
pursuing anything is to
stick to it. Even the most
successful people have
setbacks, it’s how they
respond to those setbacks
that separate them from the
average person.”
Terrian Smith

“I sometimes dreaded going to early morning practice, during these moments I had to remind myself of the goals that I’d set. I tried to do little things that my competitors weren’t doing, like analyzing film consistently, bugging my coaches for advice and bringing intensity to every meet. As a result, I ended up winning ODACs,” Smith said.

First-year Ja’Marri Henderson picked up where alumni Landry Moffo left off by winning the men’s 60m hurdles, which Moffo had won for the last four years. Henderson ran a time of 8.54. 

“At the beginning of the season, the coach had the team set challenging goals to help us get through the season. I found myself an inch away from my goal, qualifying for ODACs which seemed like a long shot in the beginning; especially as a freshman, knowing that there were others that had been here much longer and had more experience than me,” said Henderson. 

“When I had to perform my best, I would remind myself to run like it was my final race. I noticed every time I’d put my head down or feel like I wasn’t where I wanted to be, anyone on the team was there to give me encouragement which was helpful especially coming from the juniors and seniors on the team,” Henderson said.

Junior distance runner Cecelia Aten ran the mile and the women’s distance medley at the meet. 

“The team as a whole motivated each other to get that next PR, and always celebrate our individual achievements that help us get better as a whole. Ultimately, this togetherness helped us to achieve noteworthy team scores and numerous individual records,” Aten said. 

Other highlights for the women’s team included first-year Lyric Hoggard placing 3rd in the 60m dash with a PR and new school record of 7.86. 

Sophomore Norah Ciano placed 2nd in the high jump, with a PR and school record of 1.61m. In the women’s 4×400 meter relay, the group placed 3rd with a time of 4:06.93.

The hard work that the Men’s and Women’s Track Teams put in can be applied to any aspect of life.

 “My advice to people pursuing anything is to stick to it. Even the most successful people have setbacks, it’s how they respond to those setbacks that separate them from the average person,” Smith said.

Catch the Marlins back on the track Saturday, April 1, when half the team goes up to Williamsburg, Va. to compete at the Colonial Relays at William and Mary. 

The other half of the team will go to Fredericksburg, Va. and compete at the Battleground Relays at Mary Washington on the campus of the University of Mary Washington.

By Chloe Booher