Track and field shines at NCAC Indoor Championships


Photo courtesy of North Coast Athletic Conference

The Allegheny men’s and women’s track and field teams wrapped up their conference weekend series at the 2022 North Coast Athletic Conference Championships last Saturday, Feb. 26. The men finished in 8th place overall earning 47 points, while the women finished in 7th place overall earning 58 points.
One of the top performers of all the Gators was Mihaela Toader, ’23, who competed in six different events and earned all-NCAC honors in the 400-meter dash.
“In my individual performances, I’m pretty happy with them,” Toader said. “I’m just excited for all of us to get refocused, remotivated and to go and kill it.”
Toader, a Pittsburgh native, has been putting up great numbers all season, especially as of late. Just last week she was named NCAC Sprinter of the Week, as her hard work continued to pay off moving through conference play. She competed in six events, placing in at least 6th for each of the contests. Her best times came in the 400-meter, both as a team and individually placing third in each race. Toader said she dedicated herself to track during the offseason, which is why she is able to compete at the level she does.
“I usually do two or three practices a day,” Toader said.
Toader has also been working with Head Coach Justin Linzy on the importance of rest and nutrition. Toader said it is important to be able to incorporate the rest days when needed while still being able to put in the proper amount of work to stay consistent.
Alongside Toader was another impressive runner this past weekend, Julieta Schworm, ’24. Schworm competed in four different events throughout the weekend, where she and three fellow teammates (including Toader) broke the school’s best time in over a decade for the 4×200-meter relay, with a time of 1 minute, 46.51 seconds, good for 4th place.
Schworm also earned all-NCAC honors in the distance medley, clocking in a team time of 12:45.41 as the quartet finished in 4th. Running is not something new to the sophomore out of Newark, Ohio, as she was also a bright light this season for the women’s soccer team. Playing forward for the Gators this season, she claimed running the pitch also helped her stay in shape for running the track. Being a two-sport athlete, Schworm said organization allows her to be successful at both of her crafts.
“I am very organized and I think that’s a really important tool to have,” Schworm said. “If I’m not organized, things will get out of hand very quickly.”
Schworm utilizes Google Calendar to keep track of classes and training schedules.
Along with organization, Schworm has put a lot of work into the offseason trying to perfect her running. After missing the Conference Championship in her first year, her expectations rose as she had one thing on her mind, making it to this past weekend. She claimed it was an exciting experience being there and earning the bid to compete, as well as seeing that hard work pay off.
On the men’s side, it was Logan Meyer, ’22, leading the charge as he was able to narrowly run a sub 15-minute pace in the 5,000 meter run, with a time of 14:59.82 earning the runner-up position.
A lot of offseason training went into Meyer’s success, as training at high levels of altitude was a big component of his regime during the summer. Training above sea level increases the amount of red blood cells circulating through the body. As a runner makes their transition from elevation back to sea level, it is much easier for the oxygen to flow throughout their bodies and allows them to run at greater speeds with more control of their respiratory system. It is a phenomenon used by many cross country and track runners, and can be seen in other athletic training as well. It helped Meyers achieve his goals, as he boasted that running a sub 15-minute pace for the 5,000 meter was something he has wanted for a long time.
“If you told me in high school that I would be breaking 15 minutes, I mean that’s what some of the really good guys are doing, I would’ve said ‘no way,’” Meyer said. “I was really excited to do that.”
With nationals right around the corner, Meyer said he will look to better his time once again aiming for a 14:30:00 pace, as he and the rest of the Gators prepare to potentially take on some of the best track and field athletes in the country at the Division 3 level. Less than two weeks out, that event will take place Friday, March 11, in Indianapolis, Indiana.