The women’s track and field team for Keene State College qualified two women on Jan. 27, for the upcoming New England Division III Track and Field Championships.
Junior Taylor Bisaillon qualified for shot put for Championships with a personal best of 11.81 meters. After realizing her throw would advance her, Taylor stated,“It was a really exciting moment when I heard what the mark measured at. Last season I would get really frustrated because I was stuck at 9.8 meters for a very long time. It’s awesome knowing the effort that both me and my coaches put into the event paid off,” said Bisaillon.
Facing a few injuries herself this season, she stated that the weather has also impacted training this season. “This season I’ve had a few issues with some chronic injuries and tightness; but I think the most difficult obstacle being a track athlete at Keene State is our lack of facilities. Not only do we not have a track but we also have no sufficient throwing space for javelin, and no indoor jumping facilities. The weather does affect our training based on whether or not we can be inside or outside but we make due with what we have,” said Bisaillon.
She also ran a few other races and relays. Bisaillon talked about her growth and success so far this season, “So far this season I have run a personal best in everything I’ve raced. I’ve run the 600, 400, and this year I ran my first open 800 as well. It’s super exciting to be at this point in the season and be exceeding times and throws that I was having at the end of my spring season,” Bisaillon said.
Despite her success, a few things such as the weather and injuries have impacted her training. “This season I’ve had a few issues with some chronic injuries and tightness but I think the most difficult obstacle being a track athlete at Keene state is our lack of facilities. Not only do we not have a track but we also have no sufficient throwing space for javelin, and no indoor jumping facilities. The weather does affect our training based on whether or not we can be inside or outside but we make due with what we have,” said Bisaillon.
KSC junior Brittany Gravallese qualified for the New England Division III Championships in the 800 meter race. Her season has changed from longer distances races to now doing longer sprints. “At the beginning of the season I did a lot of different events than I was used to. I did the mile a few times and the 1000 meters but my primary race which I qualified in is the 800,” Gravallese said.
Although this is not her first time qualifying for Division III Championships, it is her first time going individually. In all her previous years so far, Gravallese has qualified with her relay team for the 4 by 400. “It definitely felt like a big accomplishment, I felt good in my last race in the beginning and I moved along as each lap went by. Also I think it is definitely more stressful now because you have to work by yourself instead of with the relay team so it’s really working on confidence and individual times,” Gravallese said.
Right now the team has LEC’s coming up on Saturday, Feb. 10, and the following weekend is the championships. Gravallese said, “Now in the season we are focusing more on speed, endurance and getting faster times. I am not too sure what I want to place when I get to the championship meet. Getting my best time I think is the best goal to go for, I would be happy with that.”
As for her teammates, Gravallese shared her feelings toward her team and fellow qualifiers.
“I am proud of my teammates and the other people that qualified, Jared [Hannon] and Taylor, they are both in my grade so I know them pretty well.”
In preparation for the championship meet, the team is continuing to practice and better themselves. Bisaillon said the track and field team has sprint workouts and heavy lifting on Tuesdays and Thursdays. “As a team we try to avidly take care of ourselves and our bodies,” Bisaillon said.
Looking forward to the championship, the competition is more on the back burner for Bisaillion. She said, “My competition is going to be really tough going into this event, but I’m just excited to have the opportunity to be at such a big meet and compete right there with them.”
Bisaillon stated, “At the end of the day I just want to continue improving myself through our coaches’w training and guidance.”
Coach Nikolas Athanasopoulos was unable to comment on behalf of his team or qualifying athletes.
Julia Eichman can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org