One week after placing a best-ever third at the New England DIII Championships, the women’s track and field team sent athletes to Boston University where they crushed competition and school records at the Open New England Championships. Running up against DI and DIII schools, the Cardinals were able to clinch two top-eight finishes for a total of 12 team points, finishing in 18th place out of 38 and securing two new school records.
“The competition was a mix of DI and DIII teams, so it was a highly competitive meet,” wrote Aida Julien ’18 in an email to The Argus. “Wes sent eight athletes in total, some of whom [competed] in individual events in addition to the two relays we ran.”
Ellie Martin ’16 had two fantastic times in the 500m, speeding into second place and breaking the Wesleyan record for the event. Her final race time, 1:15.98, was .11 seconds slower than her preliminary time. Still, it earned her eight team points and second place over DI competitors from schools like UMass Lowell and UVM.
The 4×800 squad had another stellar performance, this time running against DI squads such as UMass Amherst and UNH, fighting hard for fifth place and scoring the remaining four team points for Wesleyan. The relay team, consisting of Sydney Cogswell ’16, Nikita Rajgopal ’17, Julien, and Aidan Bardos ’17 (running in that order), finished in 9:12.38. The team beat the Wesleyan record for the 4×800, which that they set just last week, by more than 10 seconds.
“I think the biggest success with the [4×800] is the fact that we increased our time by over ten seconds from the week before, breaking our own school record once again,” Julien wrote. “We also placed fairly well considering we were primarily racing against D1 competition.”
Cogswell, a mid-distance runner who was the first leg to start the relay race and has been a consistent member of relay squads, mentioned what went into last weekend’s success in an email to The Argus.
“We have four really talented runners and a great coach,” Cogswell wrote. “We increased [mileage] a lot this fall and after some recent rest we are definitely benefitting from the work.”
Cogswell described her 800m stretch of the relay race, noting what went well and what she looked forward to improving even further.
“I have a tendency to go out a little too slow, so I am still working on that,” she wrote. “My first lap was finally on the correct pace, which made all the difference. BU is also a great track and a great meet to run fast times because of the [DI] competition.”
For most of the track and field team, Open New England was the last race of the indoor season. The whole team is looking forward to the outdoor season, which starts on the last weekend of spring break. However, some, like Bardos (who generally anchors in relay races and did so during last weekend’s competition) are preparing to run this coming weekend at the ECAC Indoor Championships, held in New York City.
“For most of us on the squad, that was our last meet of the indoor season so we’ll now be focusing on preparing for the outdoor season,” wrote Julien. “However…Aidan Bardos will be running the 800m individually this coming weekend.”
Cogswell, the only junior in the 4×800 four and the most senior member of the squad, looks forward to the future growth and potential both the relay squad and the team overall have in store. Whether it is the upcoming outdoor season, next year’s indoor season, or next weekend’s final indoor competition, the Cardinals are looking to win races, take titles, and continue pushing record times.
“We’re very excited about improving our time and hopefully we can take even more time off during outdoors,” Cogswell wrote. “That was our last 4×8 until outdoors but we have one meet left. I think I’ll be running the 1000m, and I am hoping to improve on my 3:05 from earlier. [Bardos] is running in a last chance meet to try and qualify for nationals in the 800m (go Aidan!!) We’ve had a great indoor season finishing second in the NESCAC at DIIIs and 3rd overall. I think our team has realized how well we can do, and that we can do really, really well at NESCACs. We’re super excited about the season!”