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Scots Set New Records in Track and Field

male track and field athletes running on indoor track

With a team full of dedicated runners, jumpers, and throwers, Covenant’s Track and Field had tremendous success at the end of the 2023 season with the women’s team finishing fourth and the men’s team finishing fifth at the Collegiate Conference of the South (CCS) championship meet. Under the leadership of head coach Eli Kaczinski, this upcoming season is looking just as promising. 

Off to the Races

The Scots started this year at an indoor meet on January 13 and have continued their Indoor Track season, finishing 14th out of 18 teams at a recent competition. Several of the athletes had notable performances and even set new school records for Covenant while others beat their own school records. In the women’s results, Emma Christensen ’25 set a new school record in the 55m event with a time of 7.75 and also competed in the High Jump, finishing sixth with a 1.50m jump. Sarah Holler ’25 took seventh place in the Pole Vault event with a 2.75m jump, breaking her own school record. Lastly, Lydia Dorman ’24 finished fifth in the 1 mile event with a time of 5:48.90. 

In the men’s results, Cheney Byrd ’25 achieved the second-best throw in school history in the Shot Put at 10.52m and has also previously set a school record in the Hammer Throw. Ethan Saiki ’27 placed sixth in the 1 mile with a time of 4:45.82. Additionally, in the Distance Medley event, Covenant’s team of Saiki, Alex Burns ’27, Ethan Caswell ’25, and John Purtill ’26 placed third with a time of 11:52.24. 

Healthy Team Culture

When asked about their favorite part of the program, the team’s consensus was simple—the culture. “The best thing about being a part of our program in particular is that it is deeply rooted in Christ. Our security is in Him, and our performance doesn't define us, yet our desire to glorify Him and love our team well pushes us to train hard and compete harder,” Lydia Dorman ’24, who enjoys running the 1500m and the mile, said. “This creates a team culture where everyone works hard and doesn't flinch from challenge, and yet also welcomes every team member with open arms.”

“I love so much that we can have such a tight-knit team even though our event focuses can be so different: distance runners, sprinters, jumpers and throwers,” said discus and shot put thrower Sophia Wiersema ’26. Josiah Mellott ’25, 800m, 1500m, and 5k runner, also appreciates the hardworking but joyous spirit of the team. “Every day, practice is intentional and a great opportunity to grow in the sport and as a person,” said Mellott. “Even as we work hard, we know how to have fun, and have a great time traveling and competing with each other at meets.”

Loving God & Loving Neighbors

“People have cycled in and out of the team, but the core has stayed the same,” said long jumper Daehla Smith ’24 200m and 400m sprinter. “Although we have had people graduate and have a new head coach, the team itself hasn’t changed much. It’s actually what I value so much about the team.” Smith is leaving it all on the track for her final season running with the Scots. “The legacy I hope to leave behind is being a good leader by loving God and loving neighbors,” said Smith. 

Overall, the team is excited to compete and spend time with one another. Dorman looks forward to seeing how the team grows both in team communication and accomplishments. “We have more people than last year, and though we're still a small team, we have a lot of versatility.” Smith echoed this sentiment, saying that cheering one another on at meets is the best part of the sport.

Part of this article was originally published as “Off to the Races” in The Bagpipe, Covenant’s student newspaper; women’s and men’s results were originally published on Covenant’s athletics website. 

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