The Fordham Ram

Student Athlete Corner: My First Track Meet

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Student Athlete Corner: My First Track Meet

The Ocean Breeze Athletics Complex was home to Bell’s first Fordham meet. (Courtesy of Tom Crimmins Realty)

The Ocean Breeze Athletics Complex was home to Bell’s first Fordham meet. (Courtesy of Tom Crimmins Realty)

The Ocean Breeze Athletics Complex was home to Bell’s first Fordham meet. (Courtesy of Tom Crimmins Realty)

The Ocean Breeze Athletics Complex was home to Bell’s first Fordham meet. (Courtesy of Tom Crimmins Realty)


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By Kaley Bell

My first collegiate race is only about 16 hours away, but for some reason, I do not feel nervous. Maybe it’s because for the past six years of my life, I have been preparing for meets like crazy. Maybe it’s because for the past three years of my life, I have been looking to better myself each and every day. Maybe it’s because for the past 13 weeks, I have been training harder than I have ever trained before. Maybe it’s because I have the support of my team and my coaches. Maybe just a few words from these people in my life have been the reason why I am confident that I am ready to go out there and compete.

After the meet…

The first of the month presented me with my first collegiate meet. Along with all the holiday cheer came the air of a new season.
All week, the coaches talked about how they expected the first meet to go and what they wanted from each of us on the track team.

Walking back onto campus after a long day of competition, I took a deep breath. I walked back into my dorm, and I was greeted with multiple people asking, “How was your meet?” One of the great qualities of being in the Manresa program is that there is a great sense of community, as demonstrated by my dorm’s caring inquiries.

I would say that this meet was a success. Even though I only ran for about eight seconds, I did a lot. While the 60m race does not seem like it requires a lot of effort, it is by far the most complex, in that its requires serious force from the get go. My coach had let me know the time that he wanted me to run, and I was successful. Coming first in my heat, I felt like I ran a good race, but I know that I can be better and get a better time. I am excited to see what will come next.

The competition was stacked. Columbia, UMBC, Rider and Marist were among the teams we competed against. There was a lot of great talent, and I was a little scared after seeing the competition. I walked into the warm up area and saw men and women stretching, jogging and doing drills with serious looks on their faces. It was very different from high school, where people would joke around and not take anything too seriously. I guess college athletes are very different in that regard.

What surprised me about the meet was that the whole team came together. The meet was a bonding experience that allowed us all to cheer for the same people. We were probably the loudest in the whole arena, and I was glad to be a part of it. I was so proud to cheer on [junior] Mary Kate Kenny, who beat her own school records. I loved to see my teammates show off their talents, and I am excited to see them get better.

For once, it felt like track was not just about myself, and I actually felt like I was a part of a team. In high school, there were only about 10 of us who would actually compete in meets. No one ever cheered, and we were never any good. We did our best to help each other improve, but it was not like the team dynamic that I have found here at Fordham with the running Rams.

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Student Athlete Corner: My First Track Meet