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Bearcat runners spring to record heights: Patterson places nationally in mile race

By: Alwyn Jimmy, Part Time Staff Writer

Originally published February 6, 2024

With spring approaching at Saint Vincent College (SVC), the Track and Field Bearcats waste no time sprinting and leaping into action.

On Saturday, Jan. 27., the Men’s Indoor Track and Field team competed at the Muskie Meet in the Bullock Health and Wellness Complex. SVC performed admirably with two podium finishes including a win in the one-mile race. The winning time, 4:16.79, is the 29th fastest in the country. It was set by Timothy Patterson, senior criminology major, who also set a new facility record.

Jimmy 1: Timothy Patterson sprints to an impressive finish in the one-mile race. (SOURCE: STVINCENT.EDU)

That was not the only record broken. On Saturday, Jan. 20, Philip McNeal, freshmen business economics and finance major, set a new school record in the 400 meter race, finishing in 12th place.

With all eyes on track and field, McNeal is feeling confident.

“I feel the season is starting off good, not just for me, but a lot of my teammates as well. We're getting better almost every meet and gaining personal bests,” McNeal said. “A lot of our athletes have never run track before and the fact we're going up to par with a lot of D2 and even some D1 schools is amazing.”

The SVC Indoor Track and Field program is having an impressive start to the season so far. (SOURCE: STVINCET.EDU)

While confident, McNeal knows it will not be an easy year.

“The hardest aspect is trusting the process. Trusting that every workout and track meet adds up and that I'll overall become better and faster. Sometimes I have the urge to compare my results to how I did last week or a couple of days ago and unfortunately, I'm not going to see big results,” McNeal said. “It's easy to get discouraged whenever that happens. All I can do is to trust myself, my coach and team that all our hard work is going to add up and turn out for the better.”

The women Bearcats also had a good outing at the Muskie Meet with several lifetime bests being posted. At the Spire Midwest Open, Caroline Kozera, freshman environmental science major, set new school records.

“This season is going well so far. I’ve broken two school records, [the 200 and the 60-meter hurdles,] and I’d like to continue getting faster as the season progresses. I’m most looking forward to improving my times and bettering myself throughout the season.”

Although athletics is a passion for Kozera, challenges remain.

“The most difficult part about track is getting in your head. Running has a lot to do with your mind,” Kozera said. “If you’re mentally unavailable, then you’re not going to have a good race. Luckily, with the team there, it’s easy to stay in the moment and run with all you’ve got.”

It is not only the athletes that have an important part to play. Coaches have a critical role in the success found on the track. Alex Parker, who works with the SVC track team, shares the athletes’ positivity regarding the current season:

“We have blown last season out of the water. We improved on all events and are becoming more and more competitive. Our sprints, hurdles, and jumps program is going on its 2nd year. We’re young, we’re growing rapidly, breaking records and have had a lot of impressive performances so far.”

Coach Parker who originally started off as an athlete himself, is just one part of the track and field team here at SVC who all work together in tandem to ensure that SVC continue to impress as the season progresses.

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