The women’s track and field team had to rely on some veteran leadership for points in this weekend’s Mid-American Conference indoor championships.
Senior Maddie Ribant was the source of this leadership for the Chippewas. Competing during her senior year of eligibility is something the Flushing native takes seriously.
Being an upperclassmen, she helped calmed the nerves of some of the younger runners on the team, especially during the MAC championships.
“I wanted to set an example, because I know that I was in their same position, looking for senior leadership,” Ribant said. “Trying to be there for them and help them out and lead by example was important.”
Along with giving her teammates the motivational support they need, Ribant also helped her team’s cause this weekend in Ypsilanti.
She finished fourth in the 3000m run with a time of 9:46.21 and eighth in the 5000m run at 17:17.16, earning six points for the Chippewas
“It’s a time when your whole team is there at once,” Ribant said. “The competition level is really high, so you know you have to perform and test your limits.”
The championship meet is one in which an individual’s nerves might get the best of them, but Ribant uses her nerves as an extra source of motivation for the competition. As an experienced senior, she knows that it can be difficult to rise to the occasion.
“The nerves are still there, and there’s a little bit of added pressure but it also brings out a little bit of added pressure, and an excitement factor,” Ribant said. “It forces you to stay focused and bring out the competitive side in you.”
Ribant, along with the rest of her team, is looking forward to moving on from a slightly disappointing performance this weekend. She seeks to build on her performance in preparation for the upcoming outdoor track and field season.
“I feel like we all left the indoor meet with a bad taste in our mouths,” Ribant said. “We’re hoping that fuels the fire; we’re going to get refocused for outdoor (season) and set new goals.”
The outdoor season is something in which Ribant has had success in before. She holds CMU’s record for the 3000m steeplechase that she set with a final time of 10:34.07. Knowing this has her excited and ready to prepare for the outdoor season.
“Realizing how much work it takes to do well and buying into everything is important for this season,” Ribant said.
Ribant is looking to build on her previous outdoor achievements, leading into this outdoor season. She is confident and prepared to take on the competition alongside her teammates.