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Time for Track!

Hannah talks about competing in her first indoor track meet as a college student.

Hannah talks about competing in her first indoor track meet as a college student.

In one of my previous blogs, I discussed why I applied during the first Early Decision round here at Carleton. Looking back, I realized I failed to mention one of the draws of coming here, which was the ability to continue participating in one of my favorite activities: track and field.

How did I end up on the team?

Let’s be clear, while it was exciting that applying and getting accepted meant I was able to continue to run throughout college, it was nowhere near the defining factor in my college decision making. My thought process was somewhere along the lines of, “if I am able to run track that would be cool!” and “If I find a school that is a good fit and I am not able to run, also cool!” My main priorities were academics and the campus/community environment, and luckily Carleton checked almost every box on my college wishlist, including being a part of the Carleton Women’s Track and Field Team.

I am only a couple weeks into the season, so I’m not sure that I am able to fully speak to the “student-athlete” academic experience (stay tuned for a blog post later in the year regarding that topic), but I will say it’s been really awesome so far!

Does it matter the level of athletics?

st Olaf meet
Audrey and me chilling in between events.

Regardless of whether you are in a varsity, club or intramural sport, I think being on a team can be a really great addition to the college experience. As someone who isn’t super social and outgoing, being on a team is like having a built-in group of people for you to meet where you already share something in common. It’s a great avenue to make friends on top of your New Student Week group, or the people who you meet in your classes. I ended up meeting one of my best friends, Audrey, through the team. Being in track has given me the opportunity to get to know upperclassman as well, not just other freshmen.

The level of competition doesn’t matter for the community to be great. I have friends who participate in club and intramural sports, and the defining factor that matters is the people who are participating. Luckily, at Carleton it’s pretty easy to find people who are friendly and enthusiastic.

What is the team like?

The environment of the team has been really supportive, and I always feel comfortable asking the captains questions, whether it’s regarding track, school, or anything else. Whenever I’m stressed or concerned about something I know there’s one more group of people who would be willing to help me through it, whatever it may be. One of my favorite parts of being on the team (besides running in small circles for like an hour, who wouldn’t love that), is everyone encourages everyone else. People often leave little sticky notes on each other’s lockers, and we have track “buddies.” We are all matched with another person the team (regardless of class or event) and each person’s buddy leaves little notes/gifts in their mailbox before each meet.

track buddies note
Some of the notes I’ve received before our first meet!

What is competing like?

We had our first meet just this week at St. Olaf College, which is the other liberal arts college here in Northfield. The drive was less than 15 minutes, though it was quite snowy! The meet was on the smaller side as the only competitors present were from St. Olaf, Luther College, and Carleton.

As a college freshman who has only run in an indoor meet a couple of times in high school, I have to say I was a little nervous because I wasn’t sure what to expect. I ran two events for this meet, the 60 meter hurdles and the open 200 meter dash. Overall the meet actually went pretty okay! I did not trip and die on the hurdles which was one of my main goals for this meet, and I made it to the end of the 200 and crossed the finish line. Yes… the 200m dash is only one lap on the indoor track, but hey, one lap can seem like a lot.

On top of warming up, running, and cooling down, there was ample time to cheer on my teammates as they participated in their respective events.

mens 100m dash ole opener
The men participating in the 100m dash fly out of the blocks.

I am grateful that I am able to be a part of something like this on campus. Being on the track team has really helped me adjust to college life, and it has been so fun to continue to be active and compete with so many awesome people.

Want to learn more? Follow the Carleton Women’s Track and XC Instagram @carletonwxctf for more updates!

Hannah is a freshman interested in Political Science and learning as much as she can about whatever she can. Born and raised in Minnesota, she considers herself somewhat of an expert on MN winters. She can’t wait for ice skating on the Bald Spot and Nordic skiing in the Arb, along with exploring all of the other amazing opportunities and activities on campus! When Hannah isn’t in class, she can be found reading, running for the Carleton Track team, watching TikToks, and tutoring with the Northfield Read and Counts Program. Meet the other bloggers!