By KATELYN LEBOFF
This past Sunday, a handful of UMW Track and Field athletes traveled to George Mason University to compete in a “Last Chance Meet.” Five women and 13 men were invited to participate.
About 20 schools came to compete, varying from Division I- Division III schools, giving athletes some pretty stiff competition.
The meet was a good opportunity for athletes to get more experience and also to get one “last chance” if trying to qualify for events in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) meet. It also acts as a final chance to compete before the transition from indoor to outdoor season, which will at the Battleground Relays March 23-24.
Head coach Stan Soper, who seemed pleased with the meet said “a number of athletes had some of their best performances of the season and a few athletes tried events in which they had not had much experience.”
Senior Stephen Harrison finished 6th in the mile with a time of 4:30.29, junior Matt Shaughnessy finished first in the 500 meters with a time of 1:07.78 and senior Chris Marino finished 12th in the 3,000 meter at 9:06.08.
On the women’s side, senior Mara Cate finished 11th in the 800 meter with a time of 2:30.94, freshman Claire Harrington finished 6th in the pole vault clearing 10 feet and Sophomore Cheyenne Falls finished 7th in the shot put.
The stress-free, laid back feel that Last Chance offered brought about a good bonding experience among both UMW and athletes from other schools.
The word “frenemies” came about as athletes from the many different schools bonded.
“It was a very intimate setting, which allowed team bonding between members unfamiliar with one another,” Harrison said. “It’s always important to have strong ties to your teammates, and this was a perfect chance to develop those relationships.”
The opportunity was a great experience for all of the athletes involved on many levels and will be available to three women and three men again this weekend as they travel to another “Last Chance Meet” this Saturday, March 3rd.