With the indoor track and field season creeping up on The College at Brockport’s student-athletes, any amount of practice is beneficial.
Friday, Nov. 13 student-athletes participated in a very special kind of practice. The Brockport Green vs. Gold Alumni/Inter-squad Track and Field Showdown is an annual track and field meet in which alumni come back to their old stomping grounds to compete against current student-athletes.
From field events like pole vault to shot-put and track events from the 60-meter dash to the distance medley relay, the special event had it all. The children of alumni were also invited; there were events on both the track and field for kids.
The atmosphere was casual and laid-back. Former and current athletes and family were talking and joking and even the occasional warm-up could be observed. When the sound of the starting pistol was heard, racers put on their game faces and took off.
The Alumni/Inter-squad Showdown is a great time for track and field athletes new and old and many look forward to it each year.
“I hope to get some good times,” sophomore runner Lucienne Ford said before competing. “Its just fun to get out there and race.”
Although the Brockport Green vs. Gold Alumni/Inter-squad Track and Field Showdown is an informal social event before the season begins, it actually serves a greater purpose than just a casual meet with alumni for fun.
“[It’s] a bench mark so [the track and field team] can move forward with training,” Director of Cross Country and Track and Field Danielle Novara said. “It allows us to see where everyone is.”
The event allows coaches to get a sense of where their athletes are and allows them to target specific issues that need to be corrected.
“I practice all summer so when I come back I am at a higher skill level,” sophomore multi-event competitor David Betts said. “This alumni meet is to see where you are at and what you can improve on going into the season.”
There is nothing more helpful than knowing where you stand as an athlete, 2013 NCAA Division III Pole Vault National Champion and graduate of the class of 2013 Zach Ferrara is a strong advocate for the meet.
“The best part of [the showdown] is you can see the upcoming team,” Ferrara said. “We get to come in and watch everybody excel and see how they will be at their top level.”
The Alumni/Inter-squad Track and Field Showdown is a great place for student-athletes to get a sense of where they are at and what they can improve on in a safe environment full of people who know what they are doing and know just how hard being a student-athlete can be.
Although both current athletes and roughly 50 alumni were there to compete, the competition came second to the relationships of the alumni and athletes.
“Being such a recent graduate, I still know a lot of the team,” Alison Massaro, a graduate of the class of 2015 said. “So it’s nice to see just where they have transitioned from last year until now and meeting the new people on the team.”
Many of the alumni in attendance graduated recently and still know many of the people on the team’s current track and field team; the meet allows them reconnect with former teammates. Although many of the alumni who attended the showdown were recent graduates, there were older alumni that attended as well.
The current student-athletes consensus was that the meet is beneficial to them as athletes for numerous reasons and that the Alumni/Inter-squad Track and Field Showdown is a tradition worth keeping.
As the season gets closer, Ferrara had some advice for all current track and field team members.
“Stay true to yourself, stay motivated, stay driven, set goals and keep them in mind,” Ferrara said. “If you do that, it will keep you motivated for the rest of the year.”