Behind the Success: The Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Centennial Championships

Katie Cressman (

The Ursinus College Men’s and Women’s Track and Field team experienced their first indoor track season in two years this past winter. After making the most of their long offseason, they made it nothing short of exceptional. But what is behind the immense success this UC track and field athletic team brought to the table this year? According to some key performers in this year’s Centennial Conference indoor track meet, there were a lot of elements. I sat down with Men’s field athlete Isaiah Gilmore, Women’s field athlete Izzy Deal, and Women’s track athlete Holly Chambers for the inside scoop.

  Isaiah (Zay) Battle is a junior thrower on the team who does just about everything. Typically, he throws the discus, hammer, weight, and shotput but only participates in hammer and shotput in the indoor season as those are the only throwing options. Gilmore had an exceptional day at the Centennial meet, finishing first overall and winning the CC title in the weight throw at an impressive 16.60 meters. This distance not only won him the championships, but also set the record for Ursinus College, the Centennial meet, and the Centennial Conference. 

  I asked Gilmore what he had anticipated going into the day, and he had a surprising response. “In the weeks leading up to the meet, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to compete. I was constantly going to the trainers and communicating with my coach over an injury that I was struggling with. All I wanted was to just get a couple of throws in. I knew I could place, and I just wanted to place,” reported Gilmore. Thankfully, he not only placed, but won the whole thing. “During my last throw, where I was actually the last thrower in the meet, I tried something different. Coach Star had been telling me for 2 years to try something with my form. This throw was different, I did it and everything clicked. I had the best throw I have ever done and as soon as I released it, I knew it was the one.” 

Women’s junior field athlete, Izzy Deal, also performed incredibly well, pulling a third place finish in shot put. Deal commented that her win wasn’t done alone, and in fact, the team’s success goes farther than the accolades shown. “We talked a lot before the meet about really supporting each other [the runners and throwers] because during the previous season this is something we have struggled with,” she said. But she emphasizes how everything came together at this meet. “Team chemistry exceeded expectations. We had the runners cheering on the throwers during our performances, and the throwers doing the same for the runners. By the end, we genuinely all had lost our voices.”

Holly Chambers, a junior track athlete had herself a day as well, setting a new school record with her 4×800 relay team [the team also consisted of junior Rachel Conhoff, sophomore Brooke Adams, and freshman Meghan Carroll]  for the second time that weekend and also taking fifth place in the event. She also emphasized the team’s unity on this day by reflecting on her relay team. “In the race, we knew we could beat the school record, but we knew we had to work for it and push ourselves and each other. Not only are we all training partners, but we’re friends. So motivating each other was the easy part,” Chambers said. Chambers ended her interview by talking about their attitude going into next season. She explained, “We are so grateful for the opportunity to have an indoor season. Yes it has changed, but we got to compete, and that is the same energy we carried into the outdoor season. We all come from different events and different training styles and we all do different things for the track, but when we all come together it is truly amazing the different things we accomplish as a team.”

This is only the beginning of the 2022 Ursinus College track season, and there is plenty more to look forward to as they hit the outdoor facilities in the coming weeks. UC students and faculty should see the Athletics page for updates on upcoming meets and results, and get out to support the Bears this spring! The best is yet to come.