The Wisconsin Track Team’s season is underway. The athletes lace up their spikes as they get ready to race teams across the nation. With several athletes working to achieve their own personal records this season, many hope to score points for not just themself but for their team.
Sami Stieve has come off a great cross country season with her teammates. Now, she is ready to tackle the track season and work more with her teammates.
“Our team has incredible depth, which works to the advantage of being able to work together with everyone each practice,” Stieve said. “Throughout the season, we really worked on the pack mentality of running together, and for each other, during the races which played a significant role in our race results.”
As for Olin Hacker, he is using the momentum from his cross country season to succeed in track.
“I’m most proud of our Big Ten team title,” Hacker said. “That was the most dominant team win I have ever been a part of, and I’m so proud that we were able to put it together on that day. I am also very proud to have finished All-American in cross country. That has been a goal of mine for my entire collegiate career.”
Moving into track, Stieve has already competed in three indoor races. Being a distance girl at heart, she mainly competes in the 3k and 5ks indoors. Outdoor, she is planning to try the 10k and maybe a 1500-meter run as well.
“My season opener was at Indiana, where I ran a 5k and PR’d by 30 seconds in which I ran a 16:32,” Stieve said. “Then, we traveled to Chicago where Wisconsin hosted the Windy City Invite and I ran the 3k in 9:20 PRing by around 50 seconds from the one indoor 3k I did last year.”
Hacker also plans to mainly race in the 5k, but may also tackle a couple of 1500 meter runs.
“I’m looking forward to opportunities to run fast and qualify and race at the national championships,” Hacker said.
This past weekend, Stieve raced the 5k in the Big Ten indoor track and field championships in Geneva, Ohio.
“The race was very tactical as we were going very slow for the first half, basically jogging, and then the gears shifted and it became almost like a 3k race” Stieve said. “I placed 9th as an individual, just missing out of scoring for the team by less than one second.”
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Though her performance was not as she was hoping for, she was still proud of the team’s efforts at the meet.
“We had many outstanding performances from the throws, sprints, hurdles and distance for both the guys and girls team,” Stieve said.
Hacker also ran at the Big Ten indoor track and field race in Ohio. With two successful races, it sets up a good looking season for him.
Goals for the season include helping the team by scoring points. While track can be seen as an individual effort, the points that one may contribute during races is very valuable to the team as a whole.
“My goal for the upcoming outdoor season is to do everything I can to score points at big 10s, regionals, and potentially nationals for Wisconsin,” Stieve said. “I would like to contribute to the team’s ongoing successes in any way possible and I am very excited for all that is to come for this team.”
Hacker’s goals look at the bigger picture of his training and how all of his years of hard work will help him this track season.
“My goals are to win another big ten title, be All-American and run a qualifying time for the US track championships,” Hacker said. “I’m working towards this with consistent training, and even then, my training this spring probably doesn’t matter as much as the training I’ve done over the past two years.”