Inaugurating a new athletic field is always an important moment for a school; last weekend, the track and field teams had an opportunity to make sure that the new and improved Anderson Track was introduced on a good note.
Hosting the first outdoor meet of the season on their own turf meant that the pressure was on for both the men and women’s squads, and both teams delivered in a big way. The men ended the day with five top-three finishes, while the women captured an impressive eight out of 18 events.
“Overall, everyone was very happy with the results from the meet last week,” Captain Noah Nichols ’14 said. “Most of us had a hard week of training and yet were able to run some good times. We’re all very excited for the upcoming outdoor season, and once all the guys are healthy, we should have a solid team.”
Leading the charge for the men’s squad was Agbon Edomwonyi ’16, who placed first in the shot-put with a 47-7 ¾ performance, and second in both discus and the hammer throw with distances of 36.22m and 37.93m, respectively.
“[I thought] it was a solid start to my season,” Edomwonyi remarked. “As it’s only my second year throwing the hammer and discus, I’m very excited to see how much more I’ll improve in those events.”
LaDarius Drew ’15 was another standout for the Cardinals, capturing the 400m dash with a time of 51.34. Despite his victory, Drew is making sure not to rest on his laurels.
“I feel like I did well, considering that I had to take a season off due to injuries last year,” Drew noted. “[However], I’m definitely not content with my indoor times, or with the time I got on the 400m last week. Still, I feel great and I’m happy I’ve been improving all season.”
Moving forward, the Cardinals’ campaign is only going to get harder, but Edomwonyi and his teammates are aware of this.
“As the season continues, our competition is going to ratchet up very quickly,” Edomwonyi said. “It’s going to be a fun outdoor season despite the fact that many of our meets will be pretty cold.”
While the men were able to impress with their efforts, it was ultimately the women’s team that stole the show last weekend, with first-place honors in five track and three field events. Captain Sierra Livious ’14 was able to set the tone from the start, as she threw 12.37m in the shotput and 43.34 in the hammer throw to take first in both events, on top of a second place finish in the 200m hurdles.
“I thought my performance was interesting,” Livious said. “I definitely need some more work with the shot, but I surprised myself with the hammer! Since it was my first time throwing it in a competition, I didn’t know what to expect, but now I’m excited to see what else works.”
The women were dominant in many of the events, including the 800m where the top three finishers were all Cardinals. In addition, Ellie Martin ’16 clocked a 26.11 victory in the 200m, with Melissa Luning ’15 not far behind at 26.95; Caroline Elmendorf ’17 and Molly Schassberger ’17 placed top two in the 5000m; Geneva Jonathan ’15 won the 400m hurdles; finally, Alexandra Bacchus ’17 capped it off with a 33-8 ½ triple jump for first-place honors. Wesleyan also took home the 4x400m relay, as Becca Winkler ’16, Nikita Rajgopal ’17, Hannah Goodman ’16 and Luning teamed up to clock in a time of 4:13.70
“[As a team] we all did pretty well, but don’t let the places fool anyone,” Livious remarked. “We’re all still far off our personal bests and goals for the season. We have time though, so that’s good!”
At the ECAC Division III championships that concluded the indoor season, Wesleyan finished in the bottom half for both teams, with the men finishing 54th of 62 and the women placing 42nd of 62. So naturally, the Cardinals are aiming high for the upcoming outdoor season.
“We are mainly focused on NESCACs and have a really good chance at scoring high, but we just need to have our heads on straight for the remainder of the season,” Livious noted. “It’s been a long one [with indoor track], so it’ll be tough. But it’s still very doable.”
With the first meet of the indoor season in the books, the Cardinals look ahead to the Coast Guard Academy Invitation, where they expect to ride their momentum to another solid performance.