After what most people that are a part of the team would describe as an “underwhelming” indoor season, the Catawba Track & Field team is looking forward to the fresh start that is outdoor season. After a 7th place finish on both men’s and women’s side at the SAC indoor championships, the team is determined to not let the same thing happen again this outdoor season. With this weekend being the first meets of the 2022 outdoor season, there’s a lot to look forward to. Starting with the indoor nation qualifiers and participants. Coming from this indoor season, the track and field team had 3 National qualifiers, Brien Pittman in the men’s 400m, Matthew Fowler in the men’s 3000m and MeKayla White in the long jump. Out of the three that qualified, White was the only one to be selected to participate. She went on to finish 13th at the National Championships that were held in Pittsburg, KS. As a whole team, they’re looking to get more qualified and be ranked high enough to make the cut to participate in the outdoor national meet that is back in Michigan this year. It was held there last outdoor season where Pittman was the lone participant for the Catawba Indians where he also finished 13th in the 400m.
Coming off an indoor season where there were some bright spots on the sprints side, they’re looking for momentum from the good marks from indoor as well as redemption and of course progression all around. Multiple school records were broken on the men’s side this past indoor season including the 200m, 400m, 60m hurdles and the 4x400m relay. On the women’s side, they made strides in the right direction with much anticipation going into outdoor with more of their signature events being at their disposal like the 4x100m relay, 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles and heptathlon. With finalists from last season (Pittman in the 400, Barja Walter, & Antonio Howard in the 100m and Josh Warstler in the 110m hurdles) coming back as well as people who finished right outside finals (Jaylen Hall in the 400m, Skylar Payne in the 400m hurdles, Rashaun Noble in the 100m and Kierra Jones in the 100m along will Mallory Witherspoon who didn’t run at SACs outdoor due to injury but came in 9th in the 60m at SACs indoor 3 weeks ago) looking to improve and redeem themselves. All of the Catawba sprinters are looking forward to this year’s outdoor season to make their marks in record fashion.
The Multis are looking for somewhat of a repeat of what happened at last year’s outdoor conference meet with the men finishing 1st (Nolan Chilton), 2nd (Jesse Schronce) and 4th (Warstler) respectively in the Decathlon. On the women’s side of the multis, they’re looking to build on having done their first pentathlons this past indoor and using those experiences to help boost them for the heptathlon this outdoor season. Carmen Bishop was the lone heptathlete for Catawba competing last outdoor as she
finished 6th at SACs. With the addition of Gianna Gutierrez to the multi group, the women are looking to be along the lines of what the men did last year placing wise.
With the field athletes, jumps and throws, they’re looking for higher and further heights. Led by MeKayla White in long and triple jump and Candace Swepson who came in 3rd in the weight throw at indoor SACs leading the girls and All Region selection Javier Gomez-Wilson in both horizontal jumps and Antonio Howard in long jump. White will be looking to sweep indoor/outdoor long titles and getting back to Nationals which she qualified for last outdoor but wasn’t selected due to COVID restrictions. As
well as getting higher on the podium in triple jump where she was selected All Region for in addition to her selection for her long jump efforts. Swepson looks to get on the podium in both the discus and hammer throw. She finished 7th and 5th respectively in the events last spring. On the men’s side of the field events, Gomez-Wilson along with the whole men’s jumps squad is looking to redeem themselves after their down performance at SACs indoor in long jump and Gomez-Wilson in the triple. Thrower
wise, Adrian Russell is the lone thrower for the men and he’s looking to put on for his fellow teammates by holding the throws down specifically shot put and discus.
Last but not least, the distance crew. On the men’s side who as a team participated in the Cross-Country Nationals this past November where they finished 33rd in the country. They brought that momentum into the indoor season with multiple PRs, school records and multiple scorers at the indoor SAC meet lead by All Region and SAC medalist Ethan Bemis and national qualifier Matthew Fowler. With them having their eyes set on keeping the momentum going all year, it’s going to be exciting seeing what they have in store all around. On the women’s side, their indoor season as a whole would be considered a bit bumpy. Dealing with multiple injuries with most of the team, it’s going to be good to see them back in action this outdoor. They’re led by SAC finalist Madison Lowery who is eager to get back to the 1500m final where she finished 11th last outdoor SACs.
With all of this being said, keep your eyes on the Catawba track and field team this spring. They’re ready to make noise and do some incredible things in all areas of the sport. From the start to the end of the meets, they are going to be bringing it. They’re opening up that kind of energy March 18th and 19th at UNCC and Anderson for their outdoor openers. #getafterit
2022 Outdoor Schedule:
- 3/18-19: UNCC 49er Classic & Trojan Opener
- 3/25-26: Montreat Inv. & Raleigh Relays
- 4/8-9: Lee Flames Inv.
- 4/23: Lenoir Rhyne Inv.
- ⅚-7: SAC Outdoor Champs
- 5-25-28: NCAA Outdoor Champs