The Collegian
Tuesday, May 24, 2022

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Women's track and field striving for more

The Richmond women's track and field team placed third in the 2011 Atlantic 10 Outdoor Championships and strived for nothing less this year, said freshman sprinter Jasmine Smalls.

The team had its first meet Dec. 4 at the Christopher Newport University Holiday Opener after months of training. Women competed in February at the A-10 Indoor Championships in Kingston, R.I., where they placed sixth out of 11 teams, according to the Richmond athletics website.

"I think we will place higher in the outdoor conference this season because we have a stronger team," junior Stephanie Paradis said. Paradis is part of the mid-distance group, which competes mainly in the 800-meter races, she said.

Paradis is hopeful for team success because of the freshmen who joined the team in the fall, she said. "They're very dedicated, and we got some sprinters, which is always good because we didn't use to have sprinters," Paradis said.

Smalls said, "We are trying to make the sprint program as solid as possible." Smalls said she had decided to come to Richmond because of all it had to offer in addition to athletics.

She attributes the team's success to Lori and Steve Taylor, head coaches for the track teams, and Greg Lambert, assistant coach for the women's track team, she said.

"We've really bonded and focused on building each other up," Smalls said. "We don't let any obstacles affect us."

Freshman Taylor Clevinger, also in the mid-distance group, described the women's team in three words: exciting, fast and funny.

"We've been breaking a lot of school records and winning at the A-10 Championships," Clevinger said. "We won the 4-x-8 in the Distance Medley Relay."

Members of the winning relay team were junior Stephanie Paradis, freshman Taylor Clevinger, sophomore Alli Mannon and senior Nicol Traynor, according to the Richmond Spiders website.

The team hopes to do its best at the remaining meets, win the A-10 Outdoor Championships and move on to regionals and the NCAA conference, Clevinger said.

Members of the team practice every day from 7:30 to 10 a.m. to reach this goal.

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"It's a whole different lifestyle, but it's good to get up and run every day and be competitive," Paradis said. "Track requires a lot of dedication, but I could not see myself not being involved with it."

Contact reporter Laila Hart at laila.hart@richmond.edu

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