Torrey Olson’s Words on Track and Field 2022

Zoe Silva, Sports Editor

After more than a year away from their sport, The Women’s Track and Field team will be returning for their 2022 Spring Season. Their last season came to an abrupt stop in March of 2020 due to the effects of COVID-19.

The Head Coach of both the Men’s and Women’s cross country and track and field team at Cal State University San Marcos, Torrey Olson, had some insightful answers in his interview with The Cougar Chronicle on Wednesday, January 2nd.

Coach Olson has been the Head Coach at CSUSM since 2018, a fairly recent start at this University. There has only been one year in between his start to current without the effects of Covid shadowing over the world.

When this fact was brought to Olson’s attention, he said “we moved through that first year and came into year two…which was the 19-20 academic year where we had quite a bit of momentum…we had a few outdoor meets…and then we got shut down”.

All sports came to a halt in the year 2020, causing a lot of time away for both the athletes and coaches. Olson was asked what struggles the time away has caused, in which he replied “The freshmen that came in that year [2019] are now juniors and that’s pretty unusual because…for some of them, they just competed in their first competition.”

He continued to say, “we have a freshman, a sophomore, and a junior class, who all in a way, are experiencing this more freshly than they would have otherwise. I think that’s been both the challenge and the opportunity. The opportunity is that we get to make decisions about how we want to do this thing…getting the foundation to build again”.

Having motivation to start fresh again can be difficult for the team because there can be moments that seem discouraging, especially in such unpredictable times. Olson was asked how, as a coach, he keeps the team motivated.

His response is as follows, “I’ve had a lot of those conversations the last year and a half about helping someone understand what does motivate them and how they connect to that, how they can adjust habits and adjust mindsets to be able to feel that connection more.”

He continues, “we have had [students] who decided they have other priorities. I don’t view that as a negative at all, you know? How can we help you make that transition.”

This picks up the threads to the next question Olson was asked about what prides him the most about coaching the athletes at CSUSM. He replied, “It’s the opportunity for me to help them grow…we’re able to provide the environment where they learn.”

He continues to say, “Athletics can be something where someone learns a lot about themselves and how they work and how they work with other people.”

CSUSM is all about education and learning, even in their athletics as proven by Olson’s answers in this interview. The first value in Cal State University San Marcos’s Misson, Visions, and Values is “intellectual engagement: learning, teaching, discovery, and application of knowledge” as found on their official website.

In finishing up the interview, Head Coach, Torrey Olson’s, last statement was “I think that track and field will have some really good things happen this Spring”. So the story goes unwritten until the end of season, stay up to date with updates byThe Cougar Chronicle.