Lexington, Ky. - The Transylvania track and field team is set to open the 2018-19 season with its first indoor meet this Saturday at the University of Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Last season, in his first year at Transylvania, head coach Taylor Throckmorton grew a resurgent Transylvania team that improved throughout the season, culminating with the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships in April, where senior Graham Smith captured the men's javelin crown and several Transylvania track and field records were broken along the way.
"We really started to click and mesh as a program late in the outdoor season in 2018 and that's when things started to take off for us and we ended up breaking a handful of school records," remarked Throckmorton. "We just need to trust the process as well as each other and the results will take care of themselves."
This year's team will benefit from a roster full of returning talent and leadership, including Smith, senior Olivia Kee, and junior Rian Boelter, who each performed adeptly for Transylvania last season.
"We will be looking for strong seasons from people like Graham and Olivia, who are returning All-Conference athletes," remarked Throckmorton. "Graham finished the season ranked 38th nationally in the javelin last year and was seven feet away from qualifying for nationals. Additionally, we had athletes last year such as Rian who had breakout seasons and are hungry to keep building. She competed and scored in five events at the outdoor conference meet last season and broke our triple jump school record."
With the Pioneers' hopes set towards building upon last season's success, Throckmorton welcomes a group of 15 talented newcomers to the team this season, including freshmen Taylor Allen, Jacob Burnam, Maya Jazdzewski, Jordan Upton, as well as junior Khalil Britt.
"This year's freshman class is a big boost to both the athletic caliber and culture of our program," commented Throckmorton. "Jacob already had a strong cross country season and we're excited to get him on the track and see what he can do. Maya was one of the top long jumpers in the state of Kentucky last year and based on what we've been seeing in fall training, she is ready to compete with the best in our conference. Taylor is a very strong runner and hurdler who has the ability to be one of the top athletes in the conference this year as well. We also have a great pair of men's jumpers joining us in Jordan and Khalil who will be carrying on the recent success we've had in that event group."
The Pioneers will begin their season with back-to-back meets at the University of Indianapolis on December 1 and 7. Following the HCAC Indoor Championships on February 16, the Pioneers will embark upon the outdoor portion of the season which includes their lone home event in 2018-19, the Transylvania Invitational on March 23.
The Pioneers will travel to Danville, Kentucky for the Centre Twilight meet on April 12 before postseason competition begins with the HCAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships on April 26.
"We always train in a way that maximizes our performances at the end of the season," said Throckmorton. "We definitely expect big performances at meets like the Bob Shannon Invitational, the Centre Twilight Meet, and the HCAC Championships."
For the latest on Transylvania track and field, follow @TransySports on Twitter