Pressure? What pressure?


Freshman pole vaulter and javelin thrower Andrew Hladek exited the competition with a height of 14:04. Home track meet Tuesday, April 21. Photo credit: Sebastian Echeverry

Sebastian Echeverry, Managing/ News Editor

The pressure of finals to see if his athletes make it to Regionals on Tuesday, April 21 home meet made track and field head coach Christopher Richardson to sense stress in his athletes.

However, he was assured that the training done throughout the semester has helped alleviate the butterflies-in-the-stomach effect for some of the athletes.

He said, “The most stressful part is that there are finals today even though there are some athletes where this is just a prelim just to qualify for finals, for some athletes this is it.”

According to Richardson all year the track and field team is putting in hours to make sure they are not strangers to pressure.

He added, “A lot of the athletes we have do what they have been doing all year, then we’ll be just fine. Yeah there is a certain amount of pressure that goes along with championship, but like I said we put ourselves in a position to experience a high caliber of competition.”

And that is what Richardson wanted his athletes to do, not to allow nerves get the better of them and to remember their training.

Coach-to-player talks like that helped athletes like freshman pole vaulter and javelin thrower Andrew Hladek, which came in fourth seed.

He said, “I wasn’t very consistent, I was all over the place and I ended up getting out at 14:04.”

According to Hladek, it was a bad day, he said he was over thinking things and not letting his momentum take him clearly over the bar. Richardson noticed this and pulled him aside for a talk.

Hladek said, “He basically said to get out of my head, I was kind of just thinking a little bit too much instead of just taking actual jumps and just kind of going for it.”

While some athletes like Hladek let his thoughts get the better of him, athletes like freshman javelin thrower Sarah Baker surprised themselves on what they could do.

She said, “I came out here and I didn’t expect to throw the way I did because I just started about a month ago. So I felt like I didn’t have enough training.”

Baker said her start was rocky and was being distracted by her thoughts.

She said, “I kind of just let everything go, [Richardson] told me to stop over thinking because that’s something that I do, you could see it all over my face, but as soon as I just did it that was it.”

Baker’s last distance thrown in a previous meet was 22 meters, this meet she scored 34 meters leaving her content with her efforts.