Track & Field hits the ground running


Reily Rogers/Wolf Pack Athletics

Junior sprinter and biochemistry pre-med major Braddock Lord runs at the SSAC Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Ala. on Feb. 6, 2023.

Alexandra Akes, Staff Writer

Loyola’s men’s and women’s track and field teams at Loyola have hit the ground running this spring, starting with the short indoor season and looking ahead to the outdoor season, which begins in March.

Both the men’s and women’s teams will compete at the Southern States Athletic Conference Championships next Friday, Feb. 6 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Head Coach Geoff Masanet said he is looking forward to the season continuing, and noted the differences between the indoor and outdoor seasons..

Compared to college teams in the north, Loyola does not place much of an emphasis on indoor meets, similar to other schools competing in Louisiana, according to Masanet.

The indoor season started on Jan. 13 at Dillard University where the Wolf Pack faced four other NAIA teams: Dillard, Xavier University of Louisiana, the University of Mobile, and Jarvis Christian University.

Senior criminology and forensics major Alex Medina said that the strength of the team this season will rely on their resilience.

“No event group has it easy, whether it be the throwers, jumpers, sprinters, or distance runners,” Medina said. “Each group has been training diligently since the fall to execute this spring.”

Medina competes for the men’s team, and recorded three of the top four best times in school history for the outdoor 800-meter race, and is less than a half of a second away from taking down the 800-meter school record, and one of his personal goals this season is to do so.

“I hope for our team to improve upon all our personal bests or season bests from a season ago,” he said. “I think we have a myriad of new and experienced athletes who can perform competitively.”

It can be tricky keeping up with both the indoor and outdoor seasons as well as both the men’s and women’s teams, according to Masanet. Masanet said both teams and seasons vary, yet they have the same goals.

“Our goals are mostly associated with each individual on the team improving their performances and running faster, throwing further, and jumping higher than they ever have,” Masanet said. “We hope all the student-athletes are practicing hard and setting PRs at the competitions, though this is impossible to do at every meet.”

Masanet said that the team also hopes to have at least three athletes qualify for the national championship meet during both the outdoor season and the indoor national championship.

Last May, the seasons of both men’s and women’s track and field ended with multiple student-athletes breaking school and personal records.

Bryanna Bazile is a junior computer science major who competed in three indoor and nine outdoor meets, including both the NAIA Indoor and Outdoor National Championship last season, according to Loyola Wolf Pack.

Last season, Bryanna Bazile placed 13th in the Shot Put (13.14 meters) at the NAIA Indoor National Championship last season, and also took 15th place in the Discus (42.27 meters) at the NAIA Outdoor National Championship in 2022, according to Wolf Pack Athletics.

Bazile said that she is aiming to become stronger and represent Loyola well this season.

“The strengths of the team this season lie in everyone’s willingness to get better and their drive to compete well,” Bazile said.

With two different teams and two different seasons, there are many events and athletes to watch this upcoming season.

“We are strong in the women’s throws and women’s distances and have two good high jumpers as well,” Masanet said. “The men are a little younger but we have quality individuals in the distances, sprints, and throws also, all of whom can score at the conference meet.”

Both Medina and Bazile said they are excited to see the teams perform this season and to also support each other.

“Everyone on the team lets their attendance be known when cheering for teammates,” Medina said. “We have an excellent group of student-athletes who put the team before themselves.”

The outdoor season is set to begin in mid-March, and NAIA championships will be at the end of May.