As Nemo wreaked havoc on the track and field schedule, Wesleyan’s squad had to wait out the weekend before taking part in the Cupid Challenge meet at Tufts on Monday, Feb. 11. Athletes were seeking qualification for the New England Division III Championships; those who did not perform will have to wait until the outdoor season to compete again. To add to the pressure, some athletes would need personal bests to reach qualification marks, a challenge more Herculean than Cupidean.
Star performer of the day was Sierra Livious ’14, who was attempting to qualify in the pentathlon. On the way to a very respectable score of 2,736, Livious also took second in the shot put with a mammoth throw of 40-2 3/4. Not only was this performance great, but it also enabled her to reach her qualifying mark after a few weeks out with injury.
“It felt really good to be back competing after weeks of injury and the blizzard,” Livious said.
Unfortunately for the Cardinals, Livious was one of only a few Cardinals who managed to qualify for the Division III Championships. Nonetheless, what may have been a somewhat anticlimactic day for the short distance runners and field athletes turned out to be a phenomenal day for the distance runners. Becca Mark ’14 finished first in the 5k with a time of 18:08.59, while Hannah Zimmerman ’13 came in second with a time of 18:11.47. Zimmerman clocked a personal best in her run, particularly impressive given the difficult pre-meet circumstances.
“This was a challenging weekend,” explained Zimmerman. “First, we had the pressure of trying to qualify for the postseason. Secondly, the meet kept getting postponed because of Nemo. We had to maintain focus without too much intensity. If you spend a lot of energy stressing about a race, you’ll have a harder time focusing when you’re actually in it.”
On the men’s side, there was a similar trend. Once again, long distance runners proved more successful on the day. Bryan Marsh ’13 finished second in the 5k with a time of 14:35.91, and Sam Roth ’13 took fifth in the mile. Credit should also go to Alex Ward ’16 in the long jump after he took fifth place in what was a very strong field. Though Ward was understandably disappointed to fall just short of the qualification distance of 6.4 meters, he ends his indoor season with a very promising set of results in his rookie season.
“This season has been a good start to my college career,” Ward said, “though I would have preferred to compete at championship meets. The prospect of competing at a higher level really drives me to work hard during practice and constantly strive to increase my marks.”
The next action for the team comes up on Feb. 15 and 16 at Bates for the aforementioned annual New England Division III Championships. Best of luck to all involved as they face one final test during the indoor season. For those who did not qualify, it is time to support their teammates and prepare physically and mentally for the outdoor campaign.