After a long season of hard work, resilience, and sweat, track and field has finally reached the season’s denouement. Despite dreary weather, the Cardinals attained new heights, breaking school and personal records alike on their way to a well-fought battle at the NESCAC meet. Despite a seventh-place finish for both the men and women, Wesleyan was still able to make its mark in what turned out to be a loaded field.
Now, the Cardinals look ahead to the postseason. First up is the New England Division III Championships at Springfield, Mass., where the team’s athleticism will truly be tested against some of the top competitors in the country. Even though only a select few are competing, Wesleyan’s top athletes are vying to make some noise on the national level. The stakes are higher than ever, and it is certainly reason for most people to be nervous.
However, LaDarius Drew ’15 isn’t like most people.
“Competing at high levels feels like where I should be,” Drew said. “I feel that NESCACs and beyond is where I start to feel the competitive push that I need to keep me alert about how I should tackle practice the following week.”
After notching a first-place finish in every meet this regular season, Drew went on to claim the title of NESCAC champion in two events: the long jump and 200m dash. Asserting that Drew has been dominant this year would be an understatement. Though the men have certainly performed admirably in the past season, Drew has risen above and beyond most expectations, and has surprised nearly everyone. That is, everyone except himself.
“My goal is [always] to be the fastest man on the track for the day, period,” Drew said. “If it’s a competitive meet, then my times will naturally continue to drop, placing me in better positions to succeed in later track meets.”
Joining Drew at DIII Championships this weekend is Agbon Edomwonyi ’16, who has also impressed this season with a multitude of top-three finishes in throwing events. Additionally, he took fourth in both the shot put and hammer throw at NESCACs. Both he and Drew will travel to Springfield with high expectations, albeit sprinkled with some cautious optimism.
“[We] have a lot of momentum going into this weekend,” Drew said. “However, there’s more competitive push moving further into championships, so there’s little cushion for mistakes.”
The women are sending a few athletes of their own to the big meet, including Captain Sierra Livious ’14 for the shot put, hammer throw, and 100m hurdles. Kiley Kennedy ’16 will be competing in the pole vault. Kennedy captured one first-place finish this season, along with two runner-up performances, and Livious, who has been a consistent performer all year for the Cardinals, looks to be a leader for her teammates this weekend.
“[We} are getting pumped and focusing [for this week] since this is our first individual championship meet,” Livious said. “I am particularly nervous, because of the elements outside, I’ve been mostly unable to practice outdoors. However, that shouldn’t play too much of a factor this weekend, especially since it’s supposed to be nice outside Friday and Saturday.”
At NESCACs, Livious placed second in the shot put and third in the hammer throw, impressive for someone who only began throwing in the last year of her Wesleyan career. Though the rest of the team rests up and prepares for ECACs and Opens in the following weeks, the brave few who are venturing to Springfield are hopeful, and have high expectations for each other.
“[I’ve been training] to not mess up my technique, so hopefully that helps with new distances and times,” Livious said. “My goal is definitely to put all of my training together in these final meets.”