After a solid start for both outdoor squads, the Cardinal track teams faced a test in the Coast Guard Invitational. With probable cold weather and imminent rainfall, Wesleyan’s athletes were aware of the challenge that the Coast Guard’s climate would pose.
“Coast Guard tends to be a tougher meet earlier in the season just because it’s right on the water and usually cold, so the times are a little slow,” Sydney Cogswell ’16 said. “[However], I think everyone had good performances for one of our first outdoor meets.”
With help from Cogswell’s first- place performance in the 400m dash, the ladies’ team had a strong showing despite the inclement weather, and finished fifth out of 12 teams with 12 place-winning efforts. Unfortunately, the men had a little more trouble weathering the storm, earning a ninth-place finish out of 12 teams. Regardless of the struggle, many Cardinal athletes chose to embrace the challenge rather than let it hinder them.
“Despite having to stand and throw in the cold and rain, I definitely felt like I improved in the hammer and discus,” said Agbon Edomwonyi ’16.
Once again, Edomwonyi remained one of Wesleyan’s bright spots, placing first in the shot put for the second consecutive week with a 47-2 ½ point performance, in addition to second and seventh place in the discus and hammer, respectively. Ladarius Drew ’15 also captured a title for the second week in a row, but in a different event than last week’s.
“I ran the 400m at the first meet and ran a good time and got first,” Drew said. “I ran the 100m at Coast Guard, got a good time again, and got first. I’m proud of my times in the same way that I’m expecting to continue improving in the 100m and 200m, my signature events.”
Another place-winning effort for the men came from from Erik Hall ’16, who placed seventh in the javelin with a distance of 46.95. Evan Bieder ’15 and Will Dudek ’17 rounded out Wesleyan’s 35 total team points by placing seventh and eighth in the 1500m, respectively.
“Coast Guard wasn’t as good as it could have been performance-wise due to the conditions,” Captain Sierra Livious ’14 said. “The rain came down all day, but we still competed our hardest.”
Livious’s throwing and running proved to be key for the women’s fifthplace finish; she took second in the hammer, third in the shot put, and fifth in the 100m hurdles. Combined with Cogswell’s 400m title and the eight other place winners, her efforts propelled the Cardinals to a fifth-place finish at one of the more challenging meets of the season.
“Although the distances, heights, and times weren’t much, everyone was in the same conditions,” Livious said. “Albeit crappy, I do think that it was a great lesson to learn about competing no matter the environment or situation.… We needed that meet.”
There is no doubt that the ladies’ strong start has added a good deal of enthusiasm for the season. Cogswell voiced her optimism.
“I’m excited about the season,” Cogswell said. “We have a lot of good girls and had a pretty successful indoor season, which will hopefully continue into the rest of outdoors and NESCACs.”
Coming up, the Cardinals have yet another opportunity to defend their home turf, this time in the Wesleyan Classic on Saturday, April 5.
“It’ll be exciting to have a big meet at our home field and really see how we stack up against some teams we haven’t already seen this season,” Edomwonyi observed. “All in all, we’re just hoping for better individual and [team showings], and definitely better weather.”
The Cardinals have maintained a positive attitude throughout the year, and will look to build on their performance thus far as the season continues. As usual, Drew is looking ahead with excitement.
“For this upcoming home meet, I’m planning on running the 200m since I haven’t run that yet, and I expect to see good competition regardless of the event,” Drew said. “All I know for sure is Saturday will be a great day.”