By Greg Dudek
One team’s pleasure is another team’s pain, and they both happen to come from Bridgewater State University.
The Bridgewater State men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams competed at the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) and New England Alliance Championships this past weekend, with one team bringing home the hardware and the other falling just short in defeat.
The Lady Bears captured their first MASCAC indoor track and field title in program history, while the men’s team placed second, just 13 points behind Westfield State University.
“It is incredibly special for me to see how far they have come as individuals and as a team,” said Bridgewater State head coach Thomas Smith of the women’s team. “From the seniors who built a foundation of hard work and high expectations to the freshman who put us over the top, it was a great day for them.”
The women’s team came into the meet as underdogs and were picked to finish third in the MASCAC prior to the season. But with their performance, the Lady Bears proved champions are not crowned in the preseason.
“As a team, we didn’t consider what others thought about us, we just focused on ourselves and our own goals,” said sophomore Ariele Krevosky. “It feels great knowing that we achieved a goal most people thought we couldn’t. This championship really shows that hard work and determination really pay off.”
Krevosky played an instrumental role at the MASCAC Championships, leading the Lady Bears with two individual titles.
Krevosky won both the long jump and the triple jump and in the long jump, she broke former Bridgewater State standout Carrie Robitaille’s record with a jump of 16 feet, 10.75 inches.
“Last year I had a good season, however I knew I had potential to push myself and do a lot better,” Krevosky said. “I really could not have done as well without the support of my coaches, captains, and teammates. They were extremely important in giving me the extra push I needed.”
Junior Krysta Zbikowski also performed well, winning both the 3,000 and 5,000-meter runs. Senior Becca Geldmacher followed Krevosky with a record-breaking performance of her own in the 600-meter dash and freshman Samantha Richner took home an individual title in the high jump.
Both Geldmacher and Richner earned MASCAC honors this week, being named Indoor Track Athlete of the Week and Co-Rookie of the Week, respectively.
While the Lady Bears celebrated a program milestone, the men’s team could not do enough to to capture their second straight indoor MASCAC title.
“The men did a great job,” Smith said. “We have some amazing athletes, but we need to get better on the second and third level if we want to remain competitive in the MASCAC.”
Despite the loss, the Bears still had six individual and one relay titles on the day. Junior Brian Espinosa led the Bears with first place finishes in both the long jump and the 200-meter dash and ran a leg for the first place relay team.
Junior Josh Goehring was up to the task as well, capturing two individual titles in the 600 and 1,000-meter runs.
In the 600, Goehring broke both the MASCAC and New England Alliance meet records with a time of 1:21.83.
“It was a great feeling. I went out really fast which was good and I finished strong too,” Goehring said. “The previous record was by a Westfield State runner who graduated, so what a better feeling to take his record down.”
Senior Joshua Danner-Hicks and junior Christian Lavoie also turned in solid performances winning the triple-jump and shot put, respectively.
Even with different results at the conference meet, both teams hope to have more postseason success by sending some representatives to the National Championship.
One athlete hoping to represent Bridgewater State is Goehring, but he knows time for him to qualify is running out.
“Now it’s time to dig deeper and be stronger because I have only three more meets to qualify for nationals in the 800,” Goehring said. “I need to go out like I do in the 600 and just go around one more time. It’s going to hurt, but I have to do it.”
Members of both the men’s and women’s team will compete this Friday and Saturday at the New England Div. III Championships starting at 11 a.m.
Greg Dudek is The Comment’s Editor-In-Chief. Follow him on Twitter at gdudek10 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org