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MAAC Championships

Emelie Beckman, C'25

Arriving in Manhattan

Last weekend, I and the rest of the Mount’s track and field team traveled to New York to compete in the MAAC championship. It was a fun time full of joy, nerves, and excitement, and the weekend always succeeds in uniting the team in a truly unique way. This year I will let you readers come along.

Thursday

We departed from the Mount early on Thursday. The team has so many members that we have to squeeze in even when we're using two full buses. There is an excited and hyped hum going around the bus and people are leaning over seats to talk to each other. However, roughly an hour into the four-hour long drive most have settled into their headphones. Some are watching a pre-downloaded TV show, some are listening to music, and others are catching up on homework. We arrived at our hotel in New Jersey late in the afternoon and soon thereafter we departed for a dinner stop at a nearby mall area. After fueling up we go back to the hotel and lights are out soon thereafter.

Friday

The day before competitions start we generally have a lot of free time so me and some friends decided to pay a visit to the actual city. After a bit of strolling with funky coffee drinks in hand, we went back to our hotel for a few hours of rest. I took a long nap. Around 6 p.m. the team departed for The Armoury Track, which is located in upper Manhattan. The facility is truly unique. How often would you find a full-sized track in the middle of a multi-million city center, disguised to look like every other apartment building in the area? Once arriving and seeing the arena the nervousness starts kicking in. I am personally a pretty nervous athlete as it is, but for big championships like this one, managing it always becomes bigger of a struggle. What I have found helped a lot is focusing on just having fun. So, that’s what we did. We did our pre-meet, which is a lighter form of practice in preparation for the days to follow.

Strolling through Manhattan

Saturday

Women’s pole vault was to take place on Sunday so I had Saturday off, and I spent it watching my teammates. What can be said about conference championships is that the level is almost always on top. Everyone pulls themselves together and performs at the top of their level, which is always fun to see and always makes one so proud of the effort everyone puts into this sport.

Post pre meet

Sunday

The day of the championships is weird to me. It’s so fun to compete, but I usually want the time leading up to the actual competition to pass as quickly as possible. After breakfast, we had to check out of the hotel and then there was a short waiting period where we just hung around in the hotel before heading out for a lunch run. I spent the time having my friend help me do my hair for the competition.

During the hours before the vaulting starts I try to remind myself that I am doing this to have fun and that by stressing out about it I am defeating the whole purpose of why I am there. I also have a routined pep talk with my boyfriend which I highly recommend, but if you’re single, maybe have a pep talk with a friend. Either way, having someone to rant to who also holds you accountable for invalid and anxious thoughts is really helpful before competing. I end up doing really well. I won first place and vaulted a mark of 3.90 meters, which is roughly equivalent to 12 feet and 9.6 inches. It was an MAAC record and a tie for the Mount’s school record, previously set by none other than my coach, Rachel Finn. My teammate Julia Kirschnick took second with a new personal record of 3.80 meters (12 feet 5.6 inches). It was a truly great competition with such amazing energy going through the arena. I am so grateful for getting to compete in this sport with a team that supports me and my friends.

The Mount ended up finishing third in the team standings for both men and women. After an award ceremony where both I and the Mount’s Justin Sluijter were awarded MAAC Rookie Field Athlete of the Meet honors, the team started the journey back to Mount St. Mary’s all happily exhausted from the weekend's emotional turmoil.

Livestream view

This week's Swedish lesson

Track and Field - Friidrott (literal translation: free sport)

Pole Vault - Stavhopp

We went to New York - Vi åkte till New York

I had a lot of fun this weekend - Jag hade väldigt kul den här helgen

Emelie Beckman, C'25