UMFK Track and Field Team Aims to Secure Back-to-Back USCAA National Championship Titles

UMFK Track and Field Team Aims to Secure Back-to-Back USCAA National Championship Titles
Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 8:22 PM EDT
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Fort Kent, Maine (WAGM) - The University of Maine at Fort Kent Track and Field team is facing an exciting challenge this season, as they aim to defend their USCAA National Championship title for a second year in a row. Newssource 8′s Jonathon Eigenmann has the story.

Xavier Denis, UMFK Senior: " I think this team has gotten stronger then last year, i think we’ve come together better then we have in recent years. This team in the last couple of years did well and still won, and I think that this year we’re much closer together, much more bonded, and i think we’re gonna do even better at this years’ nationals”.

Olivia Picard, UMFK Senior: " We have a lot of returning, awesome athletes from last year, and i think we got some secret weapons as freshman who came and joined the team, really; its uplifting to have a target on your back because you want to make yourself work even harder for this awesome reward”.

Preparing for a season as defending champions can be different due to various factors. Coach Matt Dyer acknowledges the challenge but believes the team is in good shape.

Matt Dyer, Head Coach:” We’re a little bit bigger than we were last year, which is a good thing. Some of our new freshman our actually some of our highest point scorers. Our two top scorers on the women’s side are freshman and our top men scorer is a freshman as well. So, we’ve got some exciting new pieces. Our training plan is relatively similar, although we have some minor tweaks where we try to improve. We slotted the weight room a little bit differently with some more heavy lifting phases for some more experienced people but were in good shape.

The athletes have been working hard every day, not only in their own competitions but also helping each other improve.

Xavier Denis, UMFK SENIOR:” I think i personally improved on leadership, i think that improving the others around me has helped more than anybody else before the team. I can work on getting an extra couple of feet in one event or another but i think that helping the team getting an extra couple of feet in one event or helping get an extra second faster is more important, can score more points for the entire team overall”.

Nasheba Johnson, UMFK SENIOR:” we’ve been working extra hard, we’ve been working more than i would say; the extra work has been put in because we know we are the major target and we put in the work every day, each day we come in we work on our sprinting or balance or starts, or exchange for the baton. All of that we put in place so you know if any mistakes should happen, we’re fixing it right now before we get to the national championships.

The UMFK Bengals aim to defend their national titles at the USCAA National Championships and will face significant pressure. However, the team has learned from last year’s success.

Matt Dyer, Head Coach: " i think we realized how much we have to be willing to sacrifice and get outside our comfort level. We had a lot of athletes last year who in addition to their primary event, their secondary event, did a couple of other events too to help us score as many points as possible. That’s a theme we talked about a lot this year and i think our team members are area of that and know what we have to do to repeat.”

The Bengals are gearing up for the USCAA National Championships, but not before their final meet at St. Joseph’s College of Maine. The team hopes to defend their championship title in Springfield, Massachusetts later this month.

Jonathon Eigenmann, Newssource sports.