A 15-week wait is nearly over for Northwest indoor track and field as it prepares for the opening meet of the 2018-2019 season Dec. 7-8 in the Hughes Fieldhouse.
The Mel Tjeerdsma Classic will not only be the first indoor meet held at Northwest, but the first meet under new coach Brandon Masters. Masters has been with the team since the beginning of this season’s training and is ready to see what the athletes do in competition.
“Practice is one thing, and I know these kids and how they practice, but there are many people that compete at a much higher level than they practice,” Masters said. “People really shine when the lights are brightest, and I am excited to see that next step when we compete Dec. 7-8.”
Masters is not the only one who is ready to get on the track for competition, as senior Kevin Schultz has seen a desire throughout the team.
“The team is hungry,” Schultz said. “Anytime you’ve been prepping for a long period of time, you just start to get anxious for competition.”
With Masters still learning where the best spots are for each athlete, the leaders on the team will need to step up early in the season and take on a bigger role. With returning NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships qualifiers like juniors Hiba Mahgoub and Jordan Hammond on the women’s side and Schultz on the men’s side, the expectations will be set high.
Masters has seen the growth already from the leaders throughout the first 15 weeks of training and preparation.
“We have some great leadership and culturally we’ve grown so much as a team and a family,” Masters said. “I’m excited to see how it plays out.”
Schultz is one of the leaders that Masters spoke about, and he saw firsthand the growth from the beginning of training to now.
“‘One team, one dream’ has been our motto for the fall,” Schultz said. “We’ve grown together to be closer as a team and life one another up.”
The Bearcats will have a chance to prove themselves at home this season with four scheduled home meets including the MIAA Championships. The opportunity to host meets and show progress Northwest has made in track and field is something that Masters said is a priority this season.
“The biggest thing we want to do is host great meets, that's the primary focus. We have the MIAA to prepare for,” Masters said. “We want to put on a great meet, so that is a big deal for us administratively.”
An opportunity to prove that the new facility, all the training and the team motto of “one team one dream” are all worth it will begin for Northwest indoor track and field Dec. 7-8.