Tracksters say ta-ta

By Lawrence Bailey

While the majority of students spend the first few weeks of April losing hair and losing sleep, varsity teams tend to lose a lot more. With every final exam written and every final assignment turned in, more and more fifth-year students bid farewell to their university eligibility.

Four such battle-hardened warriors are departing members of the Dinos cross country and track and field squads. Head coaches Doug Lamont and Les Gramantik will wave a reluctant farewell to Samantha Anderson, Aaron Swanson, David Schanks and long-time captain Nathan Kendrick.

"The best part of this group of fifth-years is that they’ve really enjoyed their time in the program and they’ve really grown and matured in their time here," said Lamont when asked for fond memories of the departing quartet.

All four Dinos were key members of both teams and will be sorely missed–both in competition and behind the scenes.

"Someone like Samantha Anderson has quietly contributed a considerable number of points over her career. She’s consistent, always there," reflected Lamont on the achievements of the lone women’s team member to expend her eligibility. "People like her are hard to replace."

However, according to Lamont, the impact the foursome had and the legacy they leave behind will be felt for many years in the continued improvement of their less experienced teammates. By putting their best foot forward and competing hard, they’ve set a standard for those who follow in their footsteps to live up to.

"They’ve competed very well at both the conference and national level over the five years and they’ve been great contributors all five years," smiled Lamont. "You like to think people learn from them, younger athletes, and pass that on themselves as they mature."

Lamont touched on the individual achievements of each of the athletes, highlighting traits which will be difficult to replace such as Kendrick’s leadership and Anderson’s consistency. In the end, however, the coach is happy to see each of his athletes mature and succeed due to the amount of work they put in over the course of their Dino careers.

"It’s nice to see people with such perseverance, diligence and hard work succeed; to see them get rewarded for it," the proud coach beamed. "Especially since I see the coach-athlete relationship as a partnership–when they succeed on the track, I feel as though I have also succeeded."

Here’s to hoping all of the graduating Dinos have another five year of success.

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