By Seth Evans
DELAWARE, Ohio (Feb. 14) – For Waynesburg University’s men’s & women’s indoor track and field teams, their trip to Ohio Wesleyan was seen as a final tune-up as they prepare for the long awaited Presidents’ Athletic Conference Championships in less than two weeks.
Despite the approach many had, Waynesburg did not take this competition any lighter than the others throughout the season. In fact, it might be the Yellow Jackets’ best day so far.
Both men’s and women’s teams took first overall, with both teams getting a number of athletes on the podium, several of whom took home gold in their events.
Arguably the standout of the day on the men’s side was sophomore Zach Berrott, who for the first time in his career with Waynesburg, grabbed a first place finish in the 200 meter dash, finishing with a noteworthy time of 23.27 seconds.
Berrot garnished plenty of praise from head coach Chris Hardie following Berrot’s showing.
“I was so happy for Zach,” Hardie said. “He is a hard worker and is really focused this year. He took some big steps the last few weeks for sure.”
Hardie continued to mention how he has worked with Berrott specifically, making sure he is able to “string together some good workouts” as he begins to reach that “next level” of competition, which Hardie remains adamant he has done.
The other first place finishes on the men’s side came from junior Kai Herbert in the high jump and senior Andrew Kemerer in the triple jump, scoring a distance of 12.23 meters.
Once again, Hardie spoke up regarding Kemerer’s performance.
“Andrew is consistent at practice and brings a high level of commitment to his sport,” Hardie said. “Those two attributes give him an upper hand on race day because he has been able to consistently approach the board.”
Hardie also mentioned that all of the success that Kemerer has achieved this season has come from his continued effort to improve all aspects of his training in the weight room, as well as practice.
For the women, they took home three first place finishes, as seniors Michaela Rose and Maggie Stains were on top of their game on Friday, the former taking gold in the 60 meter and 200 meter sprints with times of 8.34 and 28.11 seconds respectively, and the latter taking gold in the 800 meter run, finishing with a time of 2:37.07.
After a more than successful event, the Yellow Jackets now shift their focus to the PAC Championships, which will be held at Youngstown State University on Thursday, Feb. 23.
When asked about how the team will prepare for the event with a decent chunk of practice time to work with, Hardie emphasized that this is still work for the soon-approaching outdoor season, while also utilizing this time to get his athletes to one hundred percent for next week.
“Our main focus as a program is the outdoor meet in April, so we will continue to train at a high level this week in an effort to peak two months from now,” Hardie said. “We will taper a bit next week and do our best at indoor championships. But we are dealing with some injuries right now, so a week off of competition will be good for the team to rest up and heal up a bit.”