Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Freshmen lend helping hand

The transition from high school to college is hard for many
people, and that is no different for the freshmen members of the
women’s track team. Not only do they have to deal with tough
academics and the transition to a new environment, but also the
adjustment to their team.

“The transition from high school to college … I think
it was very difficult at first, dealing with less diversity around
the campus and on the team but I was able to adjust and it has been
turning out pretty well so far,” said freshman sprinter Shuntia

Because the transition can be so rough the coaches try
to keep expectations to a minimum.


“The expectations are always mellow,” said head coach
Peter Tegen. “It is tough to make it through the transition from
high school to college. All of them really, have done a great

The athletes have tried to not put too much pressure on
themselves either, and have tried not to expect too much.

“I just expected to have great coaches, a great team,
and to perform well basically,” said Lucas. “[I just wanted] to
pick up where I left off in high school.”

Fellow freshman sprinter Venus Washington expressed
similar ideas.

“I was hoping to come in with the same times that I had
in high school, and get better, but it hasn’t worked out that way,”
said Washington. “So I’m trying to get to the same times [from high

If nothing else, the freshmen bring a renewed energy
and depth to the team.

“Certainly [the freshman] bring a lot of energy for
one, but they have also brought a little more depth,” said Tegen.
“Some of the sprinters…Shuntia Lucas and Venus Washington, they
really have begun to bring a spark to the team. Particularly
Shuntia has done extremely well. She certainly is a great

What the girls have been able to accomplish has not
come as a surprise to the coach, but it is more of what they expect
out of older athletes, not freshman.

“We have expected that they do what they have done so
far. It is really more what you expect from the sophomores and
junior,” said Tegen. “There are some of them who have really begun
to develop, and to become great athletes.”

The women are not worried about age though. They just
show up every day ready to compete and do their best.

“It doesn’t really matter how old you are or how big
you are, it is your ability,” said Lucas. “If you are able to
compete at a Division 1 level, you are (able) to compete, and that
is it.”

Some of the athletes have performed up to their own
expectations so far in their careers with the help of college level

“I’ve reached my goals by working with Peter [Tegen]
because, as they always say, behind every great athlete stands a
great coach,” said Lucas. “Peter has stood behind me and encouraged
me, and my times have really dropped. So I’m very satisfied. I’ve
reached my goals because of the coaching.”

The goals and expectations will continue to rise from
both the coaches and the athletes themselves as they continue to
learn and grow.

“I think [the freshmen] will go through the regular
process of [maturing]. There always is a lot of weeding out,” said
Tegen. “I think they will just gel with the rest of the team, as
they really already have, at least socially. Athletically, I think
there will be a noticeable pick up next year. Usually the
sophomores and the juniors are the ones that show big performance

Nobody knows for sure what lies in the future for this
particular group of freshmen, but if they keep up their hard work
and continue to receive great coaching, the sky is the limit.

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