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Record breakers

12 March 2014 By Kati Day, Staff Writer No Comments
Rampolla, Tauber hold seven school records combined
Rachel Candela/ The Towerlight

Rachel Candela/ The Towerlight

There’s a dominating duo leaving its names in Towson’s history books this season.

Track and Field stars Elisabeth Tauber and Maggie Rampolla don’t stop when they reach their goals; they just run headfirst toward the next one.

The runner and vaulter have broken seven school records between them, including three this season.

Tauber, a junior long distance runner, holds an astounding six school records.

During the cross-country season, she set a new time for both the 5k race and the 6k race, with a time of 17 minutes, 22.67 seconds and 21:24.10 respectively.

During last year’s outdoor season as a sophomore, she set a record for the 5,000-meter with a time of 17:19.19 and a record for the 10,000-meter, with a time of 36:04.38.

She didn’t stop there. Her two most recent records were set at back-to-back meets.

The first was during the indoor season opener at the Naval Academy in the 5,000-meter, with a time of 17:22. The second, during the 3,000-meter, was set at this year’s Princeton New Years Invitational with a time of 10:11.01.

That’s not to say setting records comes easily. Tauber trains six days a week, rain or shine. She shares that so long as she prepares herself properly, she builds the confidence to leave everything on the track.

“I’m nervous every time that I get on the line,” Tauber said. “As long as I do my best, that’s all I can do, so I’m happy with that.”

And don’t let her size fool you. Despite her petite five-foot frame, her competitive spirit and hard working edge are not a force to be reckoned with.

The long distance runner continues to chip away at her times, striving for improvement each race.

“I love racing, that’s my favorite part of everything,” Tauber said. “I know that if I don’t go out and do what I need to do I’m not going to perform well in a race.”

For most college athletes, setting a school record would be a dream come true, Tauber included. Breaking a record was not something she ever thought of.

“I never imagined that I would have school records in college,” Tauber said. “I never even imagined that I would have one as a senior.”

Before she ran laps around the track, she was chasing a soccer ball around the field. When she was 12 years old, she and her cousin signed up for a race on the Fourth of July. She placed first in her age group.

Her father, a runner, encouraged her to start racing, but she denied and kept playing soccer.

It wasn’t until high school that she began practicing with the cross-country team that she felt right at home.

“I loved the girls I was running with,” Tauber recalled. “I loved the team aspect of it, you know, we’re all training for the same thing.”

She credits much of her success to the upperclassman that took her under their wing when she was a freshman. One grad student in particular trained with her before every race.

“She ran every 10k with me,” she says. “It was kind of daunting you know, 25 laps on a track.”

Despite the nerves, she keeps on running.

Though she keeps meeting her goals, she continues to set new ones.

Rampolla, has the same mindset. After crushing a longstanding record, the sophomore wants to set the bar even higher.

Rampolla turned heads after vaulting 12 feet and six inches during the John Calvert Classic at Lehigh University.

Rampolla broke her first collegiate school record, dominating the previous height by nearly eight inches.

The gymnast-turned-vaulter picked up the sport after flipping through a high school yearbook. The picture of a vaulter intrigued her and she thought it looked fun. Looking for something a little different than
her peers, Rampolla gave pole-vaulting a try.

“I was really bad at it at first, like really bad,” laughs the sophomore.

A Maryland native, Rampolla began training at the D.C. Vault Club during her junior year of high school working strictly on technical moves. In just one year she improved a foot. Her potential for success grew
tremendously, as well as her desire for collegiate competition.

“I was really looking forward to it because there wasn’t a lot of competition in high school,” Rampolla said. “The starting height I was coming in at most people were out already. I was excited to come to college.”

Though her inspiration to compete came from a yearbook, her inspiration from home comes from her family.

Her parents continue to encourage her, urging her not to give up if something gets in her way. Every week when she stands on the runway, she can always count on a familiar face on the sideline.

“My grandfather always come to the meets,” she said. “He likes to make little bets with me which are funny, ‘If you get a certain height I’ll do this.’”

Rampolla and Tauber will be in action for Towson’s Outdoor Track team this weekend at Coastal Carolina.

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