The Columbia women’s and men’s indoor track and field squads will put their hard work to the test at the Lafayette Rider Winter Games this weekend in their final meet before the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships. With Heps fast approaching, the importance of doing well at the Lafayette Games is unmistakable.
“The primary objective of this week is individual performance,” head coach Willy Wood said. “Individual performances are critical this week to ensure our athletes getting seeded into the top heats at the Ivy League Championships.”
The Light Blue has competed every weekend for the past month, with each meet yielding promising results for a myriad of athletes. What the packed schedule of the indoor season has allowed the athletes to see is a steady progression in their performances leading up to the most important meets of the season.
“Everyone is running faster and being more competitive in their races as the season goes on, and there isn’t much more that you can ask for,” senior distance runner Mark Feigen said.
If the Lions’ showings at the Armory Collegiate Invitational last weekend were any indication of what is to come in the final meets of the season, then both the men and women have good chances of establishing themselves at both the Ivy and national levels.
“A lot of guys made big improvements in their season-best times this past meet,” Feigen said. “The more everyone gets to race, the better they generally perform.”
Not only will the Lafayette Games serve as the Light Blue’s last opportunity to race in a competitive environment before Heps, but, Wood said, there is also much at stake on the individual level, with more than just a high Ivy seed on the line.
“This will be the first week that everyone will compete in their primary events in hopes of producing NCAA national-qualifying marks,” Wood said.
The Lafayette Rider Winter Games will take place throughout the day on Friday at the Armory.