Three years and still running strong
By Shianne Taylor
Since their start in Fall 2018, the Cameron women’s cross country and track and field teams have expanded and distinguished themselves in the long history of Cameron women’s athletics.
The first signing class consisted of about 18 athletes, which was primarily made up of a large freshman class with a few upperclassmen. In fact, all of the athletes were new to Cameron except for one.
Senior Keyanna Patterson was part of both the cross country and track teams.
She said joining an all-new program was interesting and that the team was able to create a friendly atmosphere.
“With no upperclassmen, we really had to make a name for ourselves, and I feel we took on that task well,” she said. “From the first semester of Fall
2018 to now Spring 2021, we have set new personal records and truly did our best.”
As the teams have grown, many student athletes have demonstrated a desire to run a variety of events and compete in cross country as well as field events for track.
In the beginning, there were mainly distance- focused athletes.
Coach Kenya Hyman manages the sprinters, and she mentioned how she likes coaching the team because the athletes are always willing to do what she asks of them. That willingness is necessary for them to improve.
“I think the athletes are still building the program and it will be very impressive soon,” she said.
So far, athletes qualified for and competed in three cross country conference championships, placing sixth in the first year as a team and each year after that moved up individually in rankings for final results.
Additionally, team members have competed in one indoor and one outdoor track conference championship.
Due to COVID-19, the 2020 outdoor track and field championship was cancelled.
However, runners are gearing up for the 2021 indoor track and field conference championship, unless the increase in COVID rates and cases from other teams affect the meet.
According to head coach Zach Johnson, the fall season was a little tough due to the pandemic; there was a lot of uncertainty going into the season from a long Summer break.
“It’s hard to run twice a day when you do not know if you are going to have a season or not,” Johnson said. “Plus, some people were in places where it was difficult to be out in public places as much.”
Johnson reiterated that he has high hopes this Spring season for the athletes.
No matter the case, the team will continue to train everyday so that they can be prepared for competition when the time comes.
In practice, the athletes work together to finish every repetition strong.
Running together in groups simulates races for both cross country and distance events on the track. The more teammates work together, the stronger and faster the team becomes individually and collectively.
Similar to the distance athletes, sprinters practice together. Though they must run in their own lanes, sprinters continue to support one another as they finish each workout ,so they can progress together.
Johnson said it has been exciting adding women’s cross country and track teams.
“It’s fun with a bigger group, and I think it is a better atmosphere with both genders,” he said.
For more information about Cameron athletics, visit cameronaggies.com.