Keene State’s indoor track and field teams traveled to Boston, Mass. to compete in the New England Division III Championship on Feb. 24 and 25.
The Owls competed against over 20 Division III colleges and universities throughout the region at THE TRACK at New Balance, a new track and field facility in the city.
Junior distance runner Maggie St. John said the track in Boston “provided a great competitive environment that made for a great overall experience.”
Similarly, sophomore Aurora Cuoto said she had a positive experience at the meet, both as an individual and as an athlete. “We had personal bests in both relays so it was nice to be a part of a team that saw results like that,” Cuoto said.
The meet came after a successful Little East Conference (LEC) championship on Feb. 18, which saw strong individual performances from seniors Shannon Parks and Jake Pearl. Parks won her third LEC title in the shot put, becoming the conference’s first-ever three-time winner in the event. Pearl also won his second consecutive conference title in the 1,000 meter, beating his initial time with 2:32.63, according to the athletic department website.
St. John, alongside sophomore Aurora Cuoto and first-years Anna O’Reilly and Alana Perry, won the women’s 4×800 meter relay with a time of 10:36.66. They helped the women’s indoor track team finish second overall in the LEC championship meet.
When it comes to preparing their team for a meet, these athletes focus on high-level practices that mentally prepare the team and keep them healthy. Head Coach Dan Roark said he believes “athletes face the challenge of dealing with adversity all the time, especially with the changing environment brought about by COVID-19 and the transition into college.”
When competing for track and field competition, athletes must be able to learn from their mistakes in order to move on and improve. In terms of her worst sports performance, Cuoto said, “I remember a time when I was injured and ran a cross country race where I came fifth from last. From that experience, I learned that I never wanted to feel like that again and that I had to keep pushing through in order to improve.”
Cuoto’s major highlights and achievements include making first team all LEC in cross country, which was in the top seven athletes. She states that her high school team shaped her into being a leader of responsibility, and coming into college made her a better teammate and person. Cuoto said her next goal is to keep improving and competing at the highest level.
As the indoor track and field season comes to an end, the outdoor season is just around the corner. KSC outdoor track and field will open their spring 2023 season on March 25 at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Lowell Invitational.
Tim Moore can be contacted at