Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Hard work, motivation fuel track & field success

Mark Williamson ’11 (left) and Cecil Jeffrey ’13 finish first and second, respectively, in the 400M dash during the NEWMAC Championship in Springfield, Mass.

In 2009, when the Wheaton men’s outdoor track & field team returned home from the 2009 NCAA Championship held in Marietta, Ohio, the ride back seemed so much longer than the trip there. They were awash in disappointment.

The Lyons sent seven men to the championship, including two nationally ranked relay teams, but came home empty-handed. The 4x100-meter relay team was disqualified due to a false start, and the 4x400M team didn’t advance out of the preliminary round. The Lyons also failed to score points in any individual events.

But fast-forward to a year later and the Lyons came back from the 2010 outdoor championship with a pair of national titles in the 4x100M and 4x400M relays, with their tie for fifth place overall finish among 83 schools at the event. Seven individual athletes were crowned national champions—the most ever for the team.

What a difference a year made. So, what happened? Hard work fueled by inspiration, say the coaches and team members.

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