This past weekend, the Hopkins men’s and women’s track and field teams headed to Boston, Mass. for the Boston University David Hemery Valentine Invitational. During the two days of competition, the Jays saw a variety of strong performances from both the men and the women.
Competing for the women’s team, senior Caroline Smith, junior Tasha Freed and junior Gina D’Addario all broke personal records while racing in the mile. The women also saw strong performances in the 3,000-meter run and the 60-meter hurdles with junior Felicia Körner and senior Lauren Roberts earning the top Hopkins times for each event, respectively.
Meanwhile, on the men’s side, mile-runners similarly broke a series of personal records as junior Scott Pourshalchi, sophomore Ted Oh and sophomore Vipul Bhat all finished under 4:19.
In the 3,000-meter, junior Alex Doran broke a school record, crossing the line in 8:31, while freshman Jared Pangallozzi, finished roughly three seconds after Doran, breaking the freshman school record.
Last week’s athlete of the week, sophomore Matthew Su, had another strong week, finishing first in the long jump with a mark of 6.97 meters.
Despite the tremendous performances on the men’s side, this week we look to the women’s team for our selection: After a record breaking mile-run, this week’s Athlete of the Week deservedly goes to freshman Therese Olshanski.
Though only a freshman, Olshanski has already contributed significantly to the Hopkins Athletics program in her short time here. A top performer on the women’s cross country team, Olshanski was one of the seven Hopkins runners contributing to this year’s National Championship win. With a time of 21:27.70, Olshanski placed 29th and was rewarded for her tremendous finish with All-American honors.
Her dominance in the cross country arena has translated easily to indoor track. This past weekend, Olshanski dominated in the mile-run, shattering her personal record and finishing as the top Hopkins runner. Her time of 4:52.47 not only broke the Hopkins freshman record but also constitutes the second best time nationally so far this year.
Additionally, as the anchor of the distance medley, Olshanski carried home the team of Smith, freshman Marisa Sailus and junior Erin Brush, as they earned a fifth-place finish and landed the third best time in the nation.
Following her impressive performance, Olshanski sat down with The News-Letter to discuss her record-breaking performance and her goals for the remainder of the winter track season.
The News-Letter: Coming off an exciting National Championship victory during the fall cross country season, how did you handle the transition to winter track?
Therese Olshanski: The transition was definitely easier than expected because of the similarity between the cross [country] training and my training now. The main difference is the speed workouts that we do during track, but working up to these faster-paced workouts was very gradual. It also helped to be able to race the 3K during our first meet of the season so that it wasn’t a huge jump from racing the 6K to the mile.
N-L: How did it feel to break your personal record for the mile this past weekend?
TO: It felt amazing to know that the hard work is paying off. Winning my heat was big for me, because I have confidence that I can go even faster. Sometimes it’s more about competing than worrying about my time, because the fast times will come with fast competition.
N-L: What is your favorite event to compete in and why?
TO: The distance medley relay is my favorite, because it’s so fun to get to compete with three other teammates, who are there to support me. We are all focused on the same goal, and it makes it more meaningful when we reach that goal.
N-L: Do you enjoy being the final runner in the distance medley relay team? Does going last add any pressure?
TO: I definitely like it, because I am very used to racing the mile at this point in the season. It is weird to start at a different time than the mile-runners on other teams, but being able to catch people from behind makes it exciting. Going last definitely adds pressure, because it is the longest leg in the relay, and who I finish slightly behind or in front of is the difference between getting first at Nationals and losing.
N-L: How did the team feel about their performance in general this weekend?
TO: Everyone ran really well this weekend, especially in the miles. It was definitely worth the trip.
N-L: What are your personal goals for the rest of the season?
TO: For the distance medley relay to win Nationals.
Be sure to catch Olshanski and the rest of the Blue Jays back in action next weekend, when they head to Ursinus College for the Keogh Invitational on Saturday.