In another stellar showing, the indoor track and field team dominated the Wesleyan Invitational III that took place on Saturday, Feb. 1, with Cardinal performers sweeping the top three spots in almost every event in which Wesleyan competed.
The men on the track saw Yuon Flemming ’15 finish first in the 60-meter hurdles with a 9.37 second time. LaDarius Drew ’15 clinched third place in both the 60 m. and 200 m. dashes. A squad consisting of Drew, Luca Ameri ’15, Wesley Layug ’17, and Kris Luster ’17 also beat ten opponents in the 4×4.
The women had 10 first-place performances and multiple top-three winners. Idara Foster ’15 closed the 60m dash at 8.14 seconds. Ellie Martin ’16 led the 200m dash; Foster won third place. Aidan Bardos ’17 won first in the 400m. Geneva Jonathon ’15 and Leyna Donaldson ’15 won first and second place in the 60 hurdles.
In the 600 run dash, Kimora Brock ’15 came in first, followed by Martin. The 800m was led by Sydney Cogswell ’16. Christina Hebner ’17 and Caroline Elmendorf ’17 came in first and second in the one-mile run. Libby Lazare ’14 won first place in the 3000m, followed by teammate Karley Dutra ’14 in third place. The 4×4 relay was closed by a squad made up of Bardos, Cogswell, Brock, and Melissa Luning ’15.
Last but certainly not least, Kiley Kennedy ’16 claimed a first-place performance with an indoor-record pole vault of 10 feet. Kennedy broke her personal record of 9 feet, 10 inches, which was also a Wesleyan record when she cleared it three meets earlier in the season.
“For a while now, like all of last spring, 10 feet has been my goal,” Kennedy said. “So when I broke 10, that was definitely really, really exciting.”
Things lined up for Kennedy last Saturday, as she cleared 10 feet on her first attempt. Between the record-breaking performance at the Yale Invitational three weeks ago and the record-breaking performance at home last Saturday, Kennedy worked through an injury, unfazed.
“I was injured for a week, so the past few weeks I’ve been taking it easy,” Kennedy said. “But I definitely think that I was focusing more on my technique and I think that it’s improved over those few weeks and I was definitely focused more.”
Despite such improvements and record-breaking performances, Kennedy feels that the only direction to move toward is up.
“My overall goal is to keep on improving, because I know sometimes it’s very easy to get stuck in a rut,” Kennedy said. “So my goal is to just keep on focusing. In terms of specifics, I have certain technique[s] that I want to focus on.”
Agbon Edomwonyi ’16 is another Cardinal having a spectacular season, with a Wesleyan and personal record of 49 feet, 3 inches in shot put. He also won third place in the meet last Saturday with a PR-breaking weight throw.
Edomwonyi’s dominating shot put performances have qualified him for several championships, such as the New England Division III Championships and the NESCAC Championships. Edomwonyi hopes to qualify in the same way for the weight throw.
“I think I need to hit 49 feet to qualify for everything I need to qualify for [in the weight throw],” Edomwonyi said. “And that’ll also put me pretty close to the [school] record.”
The Wesleyan weight throw record, set in 2010, is 49 feet, 3 3/4 inches, about 3 feet off from his PR.
While confident, Edomwonyi is keen on continuing to practice and improve.
“Technique is always important,” Edomwonyi said. “We’re working on a lot of very finesse-type technique[s], just to improve as much as possible. The season’s already more than halfway done, so now it’s really crunch time.”
On his two events, Edomwonyi discussed the differences between the shot put and the weight throw, continuing to stress the importance of technique.
“The shot put allows me to use a bit more natural strength,” Edomwonyi said. The weight [throw] is just very, very technique heavy. You have to get your technique down, you have to get your turns down, and you have to have your feet right. That’s how you’re going to have a good performance; it’s not necessarily how strong you are. So that’s what I always try to focus on to get better.”
The next opportunity for the Cardinal track and field team to put their hard work to use will be this Saturday, Feb. 8 at the MIT Invitational. Some squads will be competing at a separate meet, the Terrier’s Valentine’s Invitational on Friday, Feb. 7, hosted by BU. Edomwonyi expressed enthusiasm on the upcoming meet.
“This is going to be a huge meet because there’s going to be a lot of very good competition,” Edomwonyi said. “That’s what really helps us gauge how well we’re doing. Plus it’s going to help me gauge how well I’m doing.”
Sometimes, large insights can come from the smallest things. Edomwonyi had much to say on rituals and the lead-up to his record-breaking shot put.
“Some people actually really have some pretty complex routines,” Edomwony said. “I think it’s pretty funny.Sometimes I’ll go and I’ll probably just stop for a second — I guess you could almost call it a ritual — I’ll stop for a second and just take a breath, maybe tell myself a little inspirational one-liner. When I got the record, I stopped, I took a breath, and I was like ‘kill their dreams.’ Because the opponents were catching up to me in distance, so I wasn’t about to win. And I just sat there, I took a breath in the ring, [and] right before I threw it, I was like ‘kill their dreams, Agbon. Kill their dreams.’”