There’s no doubt that the Cardinal track and fielders have been competing in less-than-ideal weather for most of their season. However, at the Elmer Swanson Invitation on April 12, Wesleyan finally got the type of conditions it had been waiting for all spring. With the sun shining and spirits riding high, there was a good deal of optimism present before, during, and after the meet.
“It was a beautiful day with low wind, so there was literally no reason why we couldn’t have run fast, and we did,” said Captain Sierra Livious ’14. “The times and distances for all of us were pretty reassuring.”
With six first placers and various other top three finishes, the women’s squad turned in yet another solid overall performance. Though Wesleyan runners earned the top honors in the 4 x 400m relay yet again, even more impressive was the 4 x 100m relay team of Idara Foster ’15, Melissa Luning ’15, Ellie Martin ’16, and Alexis Walker ’16, whose improved time of :48.34 came within 0.1 seconds of a new Wesleyan record. Other first-place winners included Nikita Rajgopal ’17 in the 800m dash (2:21.56), Sydney Cogswell ’16 in the 1500m run (4:57.66), and Karley Dutra ’14 in the 5000m (19:19.65). Livious continued to succeed in the throwing events, as she captured the hammer throw while adding another six inches to her school record en route to a 151-10 score. As if that was not already enough, Livious also won the shot put (40-11) and placed second in the 100m hurdles (:15.58). Counting Saturday’s victories, she has been both the hammer-throw and shot-put champion in three of four meets this spring.
“I don’t think I have any expectations anymore with the hammer,” Livious remarked. “It’s just fun to do, and I just work on technique more and more.”
With NESCACs rapidly approaching, the team has been mainly focusing on preparations for this important stretch of its season.
“As far as confidence goes for the championship season, I can never get too comfortable,” Livious noted. “It’s all uphill from here. But, my consistency is actually coming along really well.”
On the men’s side, spectators were treated to familiar victorious sights; namely, Agbon Edomwonyi ’16 and LaDarius Drew ’15 dominating yet again in their respective events. Drew won the 200m dash and placed third in the 100m, and despite increased competition, Edomwonyi captured the discus, hammer throw, and shot put. With four straight victories in the shot put, Edomwonyi is not showing any signs of slowing down.
“The competition was not too bad this weekend,” Edomwonyi said. “It helped me struggle to win, as many of the other competitors were close to me distance-wise. It has been nice to pull out this many wins this season.”
Wesleyan had other place winning efforts with Will Dudek ’17 and Paul Brauchle ’17 placing second and third in the 800m, respectively, but the most important performance may have been the fourth place finish of Luca Ameri ’15, who has returned from a hamstring injury. His finish after having been sidelined all season bodes well for the success of the Cardinals this championship season.
“[Coming back from an injury] feels great,” Ameri said. “An injury is the most frustrating thing that can happen to a runner.”
With his time of 2:00.50 being only seconds off first place, it’s tough for Ameri not to be optimistic as he returns for this crucial portion of the outdoor season.
“My goals are the same as always,” Ameri said. “Continue to set personal records, and perform well at NESCACs.”
Coming up, the Cardinals prepare for an April 19 journey to Amherst, where the annual Little Three meet will set the championship season in motion.
“I hope to ride this past Saturday’s emotional high into thoroughly crushing the hopes and dreams of the Williams and Amherst throwers,” Edomwonyi declared. “I know the entire team is excited and ready for Little Threes.”