With a slew of individual wins, the men’s and women’s track and field teams competed fiercely at the North Central Pat Heenan Invitational last Friday. The meet was held at North Central College in Naperville, IL, giving the Maroons another opportunity to test themselves. As the season progresses, runners and jumpers try to make NCAA qualifying times and jumps. This meet saw the teams pulling through against teams at the DIII and DII levels. The women’s team won with 169.50 points and the men’s team placed third with 89 points.
The women’s team dominated events on and off the track. Second-year distance runners Emma Dyer and Sophie Elgamal placed first in the mile and 3,000-meter run, respectively. Their victories were complemented by second-place runs from first-year Kaitlyn Van Baalen and third-year Claire Brockway in both races. Competing on the tight turns of an indoor track is tough on the runners, especially the ones who have to run laps in the double digits. However, second-year distance runner Annika Hildebrandt proved that the Maroons are able to take on this challenge with her impressive first place run in the 5,000-meter race. The women’s 4x400 relay (first-years Meg Fitzpatrick and Kaela Jolibois, fourth-year Emma Koether, and third-year Mary Martin) placed first. These victories were complemented by excellence in field events. Third-year Isabel Garon and second-year Sidney Lampert landed in first and second place for the pole vault while first-year Isabel Maletich placed first in long jump. The combination of strong performances in a variety of events secured the women’s team their victory.
The men’s team competed formidably against tough DII and DIII competition, placing third. The distance team ran especially strongly in the 3,000-meter run, with second-years Chase Gardner and Ryan Cutter and first-year Henry Myers securing first- through third-place finishes respectively. This victory is heightened by the strong performance of runners in the 4x400 meter relay. Third-years Tyson Miller and Elliott Paintsil, fourth-year Ben Chaimberg, and first-year Dillon O’Loughlin secured first place in the race. Off the track, third-year thrower Alexander Scott placed second in shot put, and first-year jumper John McCormick placed third in triple jump. Third-year distance runner Andrew Kates explained, “It was a very competitive meet with great facilities. North Central is one of the best teams in the country. It was a great test for our men’s team in every event. Some of the best athletes in DIII were there.” The combined talent of runners, throwers, and jumpers enabled the men’s team to hold their own against the intense competition at the meet.
The team reflects on this meet with high hopes for the rest of the season. First-year hurdler Cameron Edgington commented, “The team did an outstanding job. Everybody has been working hard and the coaches were proud about how the meet turned out. We’ve been getting faster and getting results. We’re all working hard. It’s the middle of winter quarter but we’re not getting bogged down. We all have stress from school but we’re optimistic about the rest of the season and getting into spring season.”
Next weekend, the track and field teams will continue their impressive season at the Margaret Bradley Invitational on Saturday, February 16, at 11:30 a.m.