On a blustery Wednesday afternoon, several members of St. Thomas’ women’s track team blew away the competition at the annual Tommie Twilight event.
“This meet’s always a great tune up for conference,” senior Molly Demmer said. “This is one last shot to give it all you have…there’s a lot of heart that goes into this meet.”
Demmer shook off the unfavorable conditions to tie for first place in the 200 meter, while also finishing second in the 400 meter race. She wasn’t alone in her success. In the field events, senior Kyley Crotty took first in the javelin throw, and fellow senior Jenna Lewis (hammer throw) and junior Julianna Gorder (long jump) took second and third place in their respective events.
In all, the Tommies had 15 athletes finish in the top ten in various individual events.
Success doesn’t come as a surprise to head coach Joe Sweeney; his team is dominated by upperclassmen who are hard pressed to settle for anything for less.
“We’ve got great group of seniors…all they’ve known is success,“ Sweeney said. “Obviously they want to go out as champions.”
The Tommie Twilight is St. Thomas’ only home meet of the year, and while there are no team scores kept, the event serves an important purpose to individual competitors. Besides personal records and provisional times, the meet gives Tommie supporters a chance to come out and see their team.
“It’s one of the very few meets where we actually have fans,“ senior Nikki Arola said. “It’s fun getting to compete on the track that we work on.”
With that added fanfare came more pressure, but the Tommies kept their perspective by setting simple goals.
“I think the goal for all of us coming into these races is first of all to [get a personal record] and second of all to try and represent St. Thomas well,” Demmer said.
For the season, the goal has always remained the same: become conference and national champions.
“Being a team that’s always in the hunt for conference championships, they kind of sense that it’s that time of year and they want to go into the conference championships on a high note,” Sweeney said. “If everything went well there, we’d hope to finish in the top ten in the nation. That’d be a perfect end to the season.”
Ben Katzner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.