By Ryan Fitzgerald – Opinion Editor
It was a brisk night on Monday, November 3, when the Lasell track team stepped out on Grellier Field for practice. It was only 5:30 p.m., but already nearly pitch dark. The team was dressed in thermal attire as they stretched and began jogging exercises.
Coach Nicholas Noheimer watched as his players were warming up. “It’s a little cold out but we can manage,” said Noheimer.
This is Noheimer’s first year as the head coach for the Lasell track team, and is his first year in a head coach position. “It’s a step I’ve been wanting to take for a while and Lasell gave me that opportunity,” Noheimer said.
The team was forced to practice on Grellier Field because there is no indoor or outdoor track on campus.
“Of course we would like to have our own track on campus, but we have good relationships with schools that have good facilities,” Noheimer said.
The team uses the turf on campus when it is available, parks around the area, or uses the indoor and outdoor tracks at Brandeis University, and the outdoor track at Regis College.
Even as it is getting colder, Noheimer stays optimistic about the team’s situation. “It doesn’t affect our performance, it just makes us creative,” said Noheimer.
This year, Noheimer is focused on bringing success to the Lasell track team. Some of the main focuses this season include increasing the roster size, which is currently at 15, becoming a consistent competitor, increasing numbers at championship meets, and being overall successful in their conference.
“One of our main goals is to have a competitor in nationals within the next 10 years,” said Noheimer.
Melissa Cooley, a junior sprinter of the Lasell women’s track team, said she enjoyed training under Coach Noheimer.
“On and off the track, he is a nice guy, and just within the past few months, he has gotten to know each of us as athletes and has been pushing us to work harder,” said Cooley. “Last year was the first time we ever had a relay team, and we made it to New England regionals. This year, we are hoping to improve our time and see where we go as a team. And I know that Coach Noheimer can help us get there.”
Along with Noheimer comes new sprinting coach Catherine Milledge, a Boston University ‘13 graduate, where she was an accomplished sprinter all four years. She comes from a family with a large track influence, and was even coached by Olympic track and field gold medalist, Maurice Greene.
Noheimer and Milledge both have great knowledge and experience to improve the program, even if there is no track on campus.
“There are good schools with successful track and field programs that don’t have a track on campus,” said Noheimer. “We can be one of them.”