Photo by Julia Kelley

Raquel Warner, an Otterbein women’s track and field athlete, is hopeful for her final season, utilizing her eligibility granted from the NCAA's COVID-19 plan.

At the beginning of indoor track season last year, Warner had her Achilles pop and was out for most of January 2020. When she got back into the swing of competing, she only competed in three meets before the OAC shut down sports competitions due to COVID-19.

Warner says that while it may sound dramatic, the experience was traumatizing because there was no warning.  “It felt like my identity got ripped,” said Warner.

Warner, a middle childhood education graduate student at Otterbein, is preparing for her fifth season on the track and field team. 

          

The 11-time All-OAC medalist is most looking forward to competing at conference with her team. Her favorite events are spring relays and is in hopes of setting new personal records in the 400-meter dash and the 200-meter dash. 

Warner is very hopeful for the season and competing with her successful relay teams again.

At the All-Ohio track and field championships the 4x2 relay race that she was a part of won with a time of 1:45:06 beating the previous Otterbein school record. She was accompanied by Hailey Acosta, Lydia Baumgartner and Gracie Dennison.

          

As for this year, the goal is to win a conference championship and compete in nationals for the 4x1 relay team.

“[As a team] we go through pain together,” said Warner.

This season is a little different for Warner as she is attending graduate school through Otterbein, rather than undergraduate school like most competing athletes. As a graduate student, she is juggling a full-time job, classes, as well as training for her season.

“It’s draining but it’s going to be worth it,” said Warner.

Otterbein’s outdoor track team will begin competition March 20, 2021 at Marietta.