Wesleyan Track and Field Kicks Off New Year with Promise
It was an eventful winter for Wesleyan’s men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams. The year started off with the annual Wesleyan Invitational III on Saturday, January 21. This meet featured some great NESCAC competition, such as Trinity, Bowdoin, Amherst, and Connecticut College, but both Wesleyan teams held their own and had some major successes.
On the men’s side, eight competitors turned in top-five finishes. Leading the pack was two-time All-American Tommie Lark ’12, who finished with sizable victories in both the long jump and the triple jump. Captain Skyler Cummins ’13 outpaced the competition in the 3k with a time of 08:39.91. Other strong showings for Wesleyan came from Sam Roth ’13 placing third in the 800m (02:01.02), Austin Cotant ’13 coming in fourth in the 1000m (02:32.91) and the 4x400m relay squad of Luca Ameri ’15, Tal Levran ’15, Ernie Wingate ’14, and James Dottin ’13 finishing third (03:33.77). LaDarius Drew ’15, fresh off being named NESCAC Football Rookie of the Year, grabbed fourth place in the 200m (00:23.72).
The Lady Cardinals also snagged some impressive finishes at the Wesleyan Invitational. Ceili Brennan ’13 produced a highlight of the event for Wesleyan, taking first in the mile event with a time of 5:30.43 in a field of 21 entrants. Julia Mark ’13 also ran to a second-place finish in the 5k (18:56.09) and Libby Lazare ’14 came in fifth (19:44.93) in the same race. Ambrosia Smith ’15 showed promise in the 800m (02:25.45), where she earned second place out of 28 runners. The 4x400m relay squad of Julia Frieze ’12, Heidi Hirvonen ’15, Smith, and Lia Monti ’13 also was a second-place finisher among 13 entrants (04:11.20).
Next up for both teams was the highly competitive Donahue Indoor Games at Northeastern this past Friday. This meet was attended by many Division I and III schools such as Holy Cross, University of Maine, Williams, and Brown, but the Cardinal men and women proved able to keep up with the pack.
On the women’s side, the Cardinals had a pair of place winners, helping the team post five points and take 13th place of 14 scoring teams. Oliva Grant ’14 grabbed 7th in the 55m dash (00:07.47) while the 4x400m relay quartet of Frieze, Hirvonen, Smith and Kimora Brock ’15 secured sixth place (04:07.18). Julia Mark ’13 also had a successful finish in the mile run, where she finished with a blistering time of 05:15.23.
Six Cardinal entrants earned 37 points for the men’s team, earning Wesleyan a seventh place finish out of 16 scoring teams. Cotant stole the show when he broke the 1984 school record for the mile with a time of 4:15.14. Tommie Lark had an outstanding first-place leap in the triple jump of 48-1 1/4, besting the field by a foot. The effort was just 1-1/4 inch shy of his school record and just 1/2 inch short of the performance that earned him sixth place in last year’s NCAA Division III Championships. Cummins also nabbed third in the 5k with a time of 14:51.58. Chris Sailor ’15 secured fifth in the triple jump (45-8), Paulie Lowther ’13 took fifth in the 200m (00:22.91), and the 4x400m relay group of Jack Pacelle ’13, Ameri, Wingate, and Drew also finished fifth (03:25.72).
Next up for both squads is a return trip to the Boston area, where the Cardinals will take part in the Tufts Invitational on February 3 and 4.