The Anderson Track Proves to be Home Sweet Home for Track and Field
The sun was shining brightly in Middletown this past Saturday, April 7, as the Wesleyan track team hosted the first of two home events in its outdoor campaign, the Elmer Swanson Invitational. Eastern Connecticut State, Manhattanville, Mount Holyoke, and Union paid a visit to the Andersen Track for Wesleyan’s annual meet. The event proved to be an overwhelming success for the Cardinals, as the men took home six victories, while the women placed first in 10 of the 15 competitions in which they participated.
For the Wesleyan men’s squad, the biggest winners of the day were the distance runners, as they combined for three of the six wins. Sam Roth ’13 picked up another first place finish in the 800m run with his second sub-2:00 time of the outdoor season. Austin Cotant ’13 finished second and fell short of Roth’s 1:59.48 by roughly three seconds. However, Cotant was able to earn a victory of his own, as he placed first in the 1500m event and posted a time of 4:04.37 to beat his career outdoor best by two-tenths of a second. Quint-captain Skyler Cummins ’13 was the third victor among the distance squad; he won the 3000m with a time of 8:35.15.
LaDarius Drew ’15 was the lone sprinter to win for the Cardinals this weekend by besting a field of 11 in the 200m dash. The workhorse running back for the football team proved his prowess as a two-sport star once again by posting a time of 22.38 to capture the first outdoor win of his budding collegiate career. In the triple jump competition, quint-captain Alex Iwamoto ’12 leapt to the top of the podium with a jump of 13.59. Chris Gregor ’15 was the other winner for the men; he took home the gold in the discus event with a throw of 32.70m.
The Lady Cards were even more impressive than their male teammates this past weekend by combining to win an astounding two-thirds of the events they entered. Idara Foster ’15 was the star of the show, as the only athlete to win two different events. Foster posted a time of 13.12 to capture the 100m dash, and a time of 26.83 to win the 200m race. Furthermore, Foster anchored the winning 4x100 relay team, which also featured runners Lia Monti ’13, Heidi Hirvonen ’15, and Geneva Jonathan ’15. In addition to being a part of first place relay team, Hirvonen was able to capture the first place in the 400m hurdles by recording a time of 1:08.92. Julia Frieze ’12 made it a clean sweep for Wesleyan in the sprint events, as her time of 1:00.59 was good enough to trump the field in the 400m.
In the distance events, tri-captain Julia Mark ’13 won the 3000m with a time of 10:37.14. Despite being limited to two races this season, Mark has posted encouraging results in both; she finished third in her only other event, the 10,000m run at the Jerry Gravel Classic. Ambrosia Smith ’15 continued to build on her promising freshman season with a win in the 800m race. Smith clocked a 2:23.44, which beat her previous season best by approximately seven seconds.
The other winners for the Wesleyan women were Orelia Jonathan ’15 and Sierra Livious ’14. Jonathan joined her sister Geneva in the winner’s circle on Saturday with a win in the 100m hurdles, while Livious followed up her title of NESCAC Field Performer of the Week from last weekend by placing first in the shot put once again. The women’s 4x400 relay team comprised of Frieze, Monti, Smith, and Kimora Brock ’15 was also victorious on the weekend.
The fans who turned out for the Swanson Invitational were also witness the return of All-American jumper Tommie Lark ’12. Lark, who had been out of action for the first two events of the year, made his spring debut in the long jump and was able to garner a respectable second place finish with a jump of 6.41m. Lark’s return comes at a critical time as the Wesleyan track team gears up for the Little Three Meet at home in just under two weeks. While Lark remains the odds-on favorite to win the long jump and triple jump events, he will face stiff competition from Williams senior Tomas Kearney, who beat him in the long jump at last year’s Little Three Meet.
Before facing Little Three rivals Williams and Amherst at home, the Cardinals will head to UMass-Amherst on Saturday, April 14, to take part in the Minutemen Invitational.