Excitement, camaraderie drive a reinvigorated NYU track and field team

As the Violets competed — and excelled — at the NYU Division III Invitational, members of the team expressed their enthusiasm for the upcoming season.


Collegiate runners from across the Northeast gather at the Armory to compete. (Courtesy of NYU Athletics)

Ahaan Sabherwal, Staff Writer

NYU hosted its annual NCAA Division III indoor track meet at the Armory Track and Field Center in Washington Heights on Friday, Feb. 3, bringing teams together from across the northeast. Throughout the night, NYU’s athletes and staff echoed a sense of excitement for the rest of the season.

“It’s the Armory — it’s a little chaotic, it’s a little hectic, but it’s a great facility to train and compete in,” said Michael Roberts, the team’s associate head coach. “I am actually excited that we are hosting this meet today.”

Prior to the start of the meet, NYU’s 15 graduating student athletes were honored in a ceremony, including athletes Kamila Sansui and Isre’al Conerly.

“I am happy to be here with our team, and I’m happy that it’s an NYU meet in the city,” Sansui said. “Everyone is doing well so far, so hopefully we can continue that momentum.” 

For star runner and record holder Conerly, running at the Armory track brought a range of emotions. 

“It feels kind of invigorating because we always practice here, but to be able to actually compete is a different type of feeling,” Conerly said. “All the professional athletes run here.” 

Even competitors outside of NYU recognized the quality of the event. 

“I really think traveling to other schools’ meets is a great experience, you get to meet so many people you wouldn’t meet otherwise,” said Haveford College’s Micah Lachman. “I thought the atmosphere was really great here today.”

In addition to competing at the Armory, members of the team also raved about the fervor of this year’s group. 

“I just love the energy the team brings and the support they show one another,” Grace Richardson, a graduate student, said. “They’re just great people all around.”

Expectations for the year are high, due, in part, to the increased enthusiasm within the team.

“I’m feeling excited, this is my senior year,” Conerly said. “Freshman year, I won the conference, and this is my return to the indoor season since COVID-19. Hopefully [tonight is] a personal record and I break the school record I had last year.”

Richardson, the graduate student, displayed a comparable confidence after the meet, revealing her goal to qualify for nationals in the 5K category.

Consistent with his athletes, Roberts, who joined the team as a coach only last month, also commented on his team’s increasing level of competitiveness.

“It’s been a slow start to the season with the transition of the coaching staff, but I’m excited that they’re being a lot more competitive,” Roberts said. “They seem to be a lot more hungry and wanting to compete better.”

All in all, the night had successes in store for NYU, with several athletes placing well in their races, while setting various personal and seasonal bests. Keep an eye out for this team — they are building toward considerable achievements.

Contact Ahaan Sabherwal at [email protected].