Meet Track & Field’s Boston University Valentine qualifiers




Hannah Rieders ’21 individually qualified for the invitational in the three-kilometer race, clocking in a personal record of 10:55.59 at the Massasoit Classic last weekend. Rieders is from Wellesley, Massachusetts and will be competing against her sister Madeline in the three-kilometer at Boston University.

Rieders is excited to compete in the atmosphere at BU. “I am looking forward to racing in a competitive field against some really strong runners on a fast banked track,” she said. “I think the energy and competition of the overall meet will really help to drive me. I am also looking forward to cheering on my other teammates in their events.” Looking beyond the BU Invitational, Rieders hopes to qualify for D-III New England Championships in the three-kilometer.

She is especially excited that “the team has continued to have a higher percentage of season bests and personal bests at every meet” and hopes that “team continues to improve each meet and encourage each other to give their best effort during their events.”




Emsie Cronin ’19 will be representing the Lyons in the 800-meter leg of the distance medley relay. Cronin is a middle-distance runner from Ledyard, Connecticut. In addition to track and field, Cronin is also a member of the Mount Holyoke cross country team.

Cronin hopes to beat her personal record of 2:33.14 minutes in the 800-meter on Boston University’s fast banked track. On a banked track, it is much easier for runners to maintain their speed around the curves. She explained that this will be her first time running on a banked track, despite participating in the sport for 8 years. “Hopefully, this will help our relay team have a good chance at beating the school record,” Cronin said. “Our team has significantly grown over the season and I hope we will continue to improve and represent Mount Holyoke well [at BU].”

For those unfamiliar with the track and field team, Cronin explained, “We have our own slang: #yokeem #jawn #dawg #clams #ONETEAM #gains #blkszn.” She added on a more serious note, “Even though we all run individual events, we all work hard to help and encourage each other to do the best we possibly can.”




Charleen Theroux ’20 qualified for the invitational individually in the 200-meter race and for the team in the 400-meter leg of the distance medley relay. Theroux is a sprinter and jumper from Coventry, Rhode Island.

Theroux hopes to beat her personal record of 26.31 seconds in the 200-meter and 58.07 seconds in the 400-meter. In the remainder of the season, Theroux also wishes to reach over 18 feet in the long jump and qualify for National Championships in March. She said, “I’ve been chasing it [18 feet in the long jump] since high school, and so I am really hoping that it’ll happen this season.”

Theroux emphasized the importance of playing up the team’s strengths. “As a team, we’re really working on placing better at meets, especially meets where we go up against teams in our conference. We have a lot more depth this year, and so we’re working on really using that to our advantage and racking up points across the distance, hurdles and sprinting events as well as in the field events.” There has been a noticeable change in the team for Theroux: “We have be- come so much more competitive over the course of the season: we’re racing not just to cross the finish line, but to cross the finish line in first place, and that’s really exciting to be a part of.”

Theroux encourages all Mount Holyoke students to come out and support the team. “Track meets can actually be really fun to watch, and if you’re in the area you should definitely stop by and watch us one day,” she said. “They can be really long sometimes, but I think you’d be pleasantly surprised to experience how exciting the energy and intensity can be.”




Sydney Nash ’22, a first- year from New Hartford, Connecticut, will compete in the mile race as well as a leg of the distance medley relay at the Boston University Valentine Invitational.

“I’m feeling a little nervous for the meet,” said Nash, “but it’s the good kind of nerves where it’s mostly excitement. It helps to think of all of the training we have done to prepare.”

Each track and field athlete has their own way of getting game ready. Nash, for example, has a warm-up playlist to prepare herself before a race. “I like anything that has a good beat to it,” she said.

Nash’s goals for the race include a sub-5:23 minute mile in order to qualify for the D-III New England meet in May. “My teammates help me stay focused on meet day,” she added. “Having them around is very reassuring because it reminds me of all the work we’ve done together to get to that point.”




Mid-distance runner Simone Jacob ’21, from San Francisco, California, qualified in the mile race and a leg of the distance medley relay. “When I qualified for Boston University in the mile I was super pumped that I would have the chance to compete with such talented athletes at such a competitive meet,” said Jacob.
The track and field team is working hard to support the qualifiers and help them achieve their best possible performance. Jacob shared that she has been preparing with her teammates by “building up endurance and strength on ‘Workout Wednesdays and Fridays.’”

What goes through an athlete’s mind during a game or competition? Jacob said, “Honestly during a race I’m not thinking about anything but staying with the person directly in front of me and competing. I tell myself whatever they do I do and imagine that we are attached with a rope. If it gets really tough I tell myself I’m stronger than I think I am to help push through the pain,” Jacob continued. “By the time I’m crossing the line I’m usually just leaving it all out there and racing. I sort of black out and just finish. After the race I’m very out of it and have ‘runner’s brain’,” she laughed.




Madeline Rieders ’21, a runner from Wellesley, Massachusetts, qualified for the three-kilometer race. “After I qualified for this meet, I was really excited to race with strong runners and was happy that some of my other teammates will be competing as well,” said Rieders.

Rieders is ready to test out Boston University’s banked track for the first time. “I’m so excited to race in a competitive field,” she said.

Because the meet is so important, Rieders is preparing carefully so she is able to perform at her best on Friday. “I am making sure to stay ahead on my schoolwork so I can get a good night’s sleep every night and focus on being well-rested for the race,” she said. “I also make sure to take the time to roll and stretch so that my legs stay loose in preparation for the race.”

Rieders said that her favorite part of competitions is pushing herself to her limit, so at the end of each race she feels like she has put in her best effort. Her words of encouragement to the team are to “have fun and give it their all!”