Breaking Records One Run at a Time
Running through the season, the Florida Southern women’s track team is breaking records and making plans for big accomplishments this year.
Junior Kassidy Watkins competed with her team last weekend at Daytona Beach where she broke the record in the 1000m with a FSC best time of 3:09.72.
This record was previously beaten by junior Hannah Nelson last year in January at Embry Riddle’s competition, where Nelson finished the 1000m with a time of 3:15.81.
“I am very lucky to have my teammates as some of my best friends, and it’s fun to be able to push each other in practice and then to cheer them on when we’re running in competitions together,” Watkins said.
Multiple records were broken last week, including freshman Hannah Flemming, who broke the mile record coming in with a time of 5:21.99, which landed her a third place finish.
In addition to Watkins breaking an individual record last week, she also broke the Distance Medley Relay with her teammates Hannah Nelson, Aleska Guerra and Hannah Flemming.
“Our team has been continuing to consistently break old school records within the past three years that I have been running,” Nelson said. “By each of us breaking a different record in different events we have been able to push each other harder than we ever have to stretch our goals.”
Watkins and Nelson explained the importance of team competition and consistently working together to make each other better for every competition.
“I think that our team can accomplish some really big things this year,” Watkins said. “Coach Bylander came onto the program the same year that I came to Florida Southern, and she has been a huge blessing to have as a coach. She is always there to help us achieve more than we think we can.”
Coach Bylander talked about her greatest memory so far this season was the Distance Medley Relay. She said Watkins was slightly behind at first, but she closed the gap and ran stronger until she was caught up and then even stronger when she was past the other runners.
Bylander said how important this past week was to the team and how confidence boosting breaking multiple records in a week is.
“It shows us that we’re right on track with training and also that they’re dreaming bigger and bigger every year,” Bylander said. “One of the goals since the girls were freshman was to re-write the record books. Seeing it all start to come together, everyone can see what I’ve known all along about how talented this group is.”
Watkins talked about how Bylander posts inspirational quotes before hard workouts or meets to build confidence in the team and to fire them up.
Bylander has been working with this group for the past three years and is looking forward to seeing how much everyone improves this season.
The team continues their run at more broken records this Friday at the University of Tampa.