Seattle U Track and Field coach, Trisha Steidl.
MN: What are your thoughts on the season as a whole?
TS: Overall, positive. I think we’re going in the right direction, we keep building off the year before, especially mentality wise which is something we’ve been focusing on the past few years, even more specifically than we had before. I’m seeing a really good change in focus, attention to details, more ownership of individual’s roles and what that means for the team and what that means for the program.
MN: Is there any certain meet or race that stood out to you this year?
TS: No, but probably because interspersed through indoor and outdoor we had some really good meets. For cross country, we hosted so that was very cool. Lila Rice winning the championship individually was also great. Indoor we had a lot of great performances at conference, outdoor we had a lot of great performances at conference. But along the way there were a lot of really great things that happened too. The beginning of any season is not usually a highlight, we’re trying to get the team prepared for the last third of the season to really get after it. I feel like the team did a good job of that each season, which is why I can’t really pinpoint one thing, but it’s exciting for me that we were able to do that each season.
MN: What were your thoughts on the team’s performance at outdoor conference?
TS: The team collected a lot of medals. I still haven’t looked to see how the team did this year versus last year. I think it’s more, overall point scoring seemed to be spread out amongst more people. The women’s team did a really good job, they scored quite a few points, they had a lot of people spread out in earning those points.
The men’s team is definitely a growing team; we don’t have many seniors. We have a little work to do there, I think that what I saw at conference was still good. It wasn’t for lack of heart or lack of effort or anything like that. We can look at most situations and say, “okay I know why this happened.” It just comes down to individual stuff.
MN: Is there anything you wish had gone differently?
TS: I mean I would love if it wasn’t in the 90’s, things I can’t control. I wish everybody was able to compete to the best of their ability and make everything happen on the day. The overall attitude and effort was good so I’m pretty pleased with that aspect ofit.
MN: Following up on that, how do you think heat affected performances? TS: It was hot. It definitely had an impact. I do feel like the team did a really good job of staying out of the sun and staying hydrated, not putting themselves in situations where it was going to negatively impact them more than they had to. I think they did a really good job with all of that, I was impressed with how people took that very seriously. It certainly impacts everybody, but it impacts everybody differently. They did a good job of working with it.
MN: Are there any athletes that exceeded your expectations or had a stand-out performance at conference?
TS: I mean I have high expectations for them, that’s my job. I didn’t expect Abby Wachter to get second, that was awesome. She raced so fierce and so strong, you could tell she wanted it and was ready to go. Moira O’Connor Lenth being second in the 5K, that was her top finish at conference ever. I knew she could do well but knowing what’s possible and actually making it happen aren’t always the same thing. Siobhan Rubio as a freshman getting third in the 800 meter, I knew she could do that and I knew she could be in the top three because she was fourth at indoor conference. She really stepped up, but I wasn’t really surprised because I thought she could get top three, but it was still really awesome to see a freshman be in the top three.
MN: What are your goals for next year?
TS: To do better. To build off this and get more people scoring, more people medaling. We’ll be back in Kansas so we’ll be more familiar with the whole set up there and everything. I think that will be nice mentality nice, hopefully being familiar and not as hot as it was this year. My hope is always to learn from what happened the year before, good or bad. If something great happened, how did you make that happen? Or, even if that happened to a teammate, how did they make that happen and how can you learn from that and grow from that and take that forward for yourself. If something didn’t go well, I think to a certain point it’s important to take ownership of that. We’re going to educate on that stuff and learn from past experiences, more continual growing and learning.
Michelle may be reached at