Track and Field women secure 14 top-three finishes and the men receive five more.

Last weekend, the track and field team kicked off its spring season by hosting the Wesleyan Spring Meet on Sat., March 21. Due to weather conditions, the first meet of the outdoor season was forced into Bacon Field House. Though there was no team scoring, both the men’s and women’s squads successfully strove for numerous top-three wins as they competed against 19 teams from across New England; in particular, the Cardinal women secured 14 top-three performances, of which 5 were for first.

Idara Foster ’15 sprinted her way to first in front of 43 other competitors in the 100m, beating the Conn College runner behind her by 0.01 seconds. Despite running in a tighter indoor track as opposed to a larger outdoor track, Foster pushed past her opponents to gain the upper hand.

“The best moment of my race was definitely catching the two women running next to me and beating them within the last 3 meters of the race (I almost did not pull it off),” she wrote in an email to The Argus. “The worst part of the race would have to be my anxiety of running 100 meters on an indoor track. Outside, the 100 meter is a straightaway. However, inside it consist of a turn and straight. My ankles struggle with the turn, so I was anxious about whether or not I was going to be able to pull it off.”

In the 60m hurdles, first in Geneva Jonathan ’15 finished first in a pool of 23. She was followed closely behind by teammate Leyna Donaldson ’15, who came in third. In a race that ends in just 9 to 10 seconds, Jonathon beat her second-place opponent by three milliseconds—enough to make the difference.

“As my race was relatively short, I’d say the best thing [about the race] was just going over hurdles again with the outdoor season in mind,” Jonathan wrote in an email to The Argus. “The races get longer and harder so having a good one under my [belt] is relieving.”

In a pool of 37 runners, the Cardinals cleaned out the top-three in the 800m, with Ellie Martin ’16 securing a first-place win, followed by teammates Melissa Luning ’15 in second and Ananya Subrahmanian ’18 in third.

In the 1500m, Aidan Bardos ’17 and Sydney Cogswell ’16 both flew into first and second place respectively, ahead of 34 other runners. Wesleyan also dominated the 4x400m relay race, with all top-three finishes coming from Red and Black squads; Nikita Rajgopal ’17, Luning, Subrahmanian, and Sarah Swenson ’18 breezed into first place.

Other top-three performances came from Hannah Goodman ’16 for third in the 400m, Chrissy Gonzalez-Gandolfi ’17 for second in the long jump, Orelia Jonathan ’15 for third in shot put, and Kiley Kennedy ’16 and Colleen O’Neill ’18 for second and third in the pole vault.

The men’s team fielded five top-three finishes, three of which were for first. Agbon Edomwonyi ’16 secured his usual first-place performance in both the shot put and the weight throw, hurling farthest out of 32 competitors in the former and 4 in the latter. Thomas Reid ’18 finished second in the 60m hurdles out of 18 runners and anchored the 4x400m relay squad—along with Luca Ameri ’15, Austin Dhillon ’18, and LaDarius Drew ’15—for first place. Jessy Carrasco-Gonzalez ’18 came in second place in the pole vault.

Up next for the Cardinals is the Coast Guard Invitational. Both teams are deep in practice for the spring season.

“I have been focusing on really implementing my physical strength with my max velocity and frequency of my steps,” Foster wrote. “I am strong and powerful, but I have to constantly remind myself of the important of quick frequency to get from point A to point B. I plan on practicing my transition phase from acceleration into max velocity in hopes to dust my opponents.”

Despite running in the 60m hurdles last weekend, Jonathan looks forward to staying in the 400m hurdles.

“Over the last few weeks I’ve spent most of my time gearing up for the 400 hurdles which is my main event on the track,” she wrote. “So while I still compete in the short hurdles, my heart lies with the 400—even though it is a mentally difficult race.”

Asked about personal goals for the season, both Foster and Jonathan touched on team wins over personal gains.

“I have three goals for the spring season,” Foster wrote. “The first one is to work tirelessly towards NESCACs and to finish top three amongst all of the schools. The second is to use the next few weeks as a time to bond with the team and be supportive – this is imperative to being able to compete highly at NESCACs. The third is to work on take our 4×100 meter team to nationals so that we can earn our spot as DIII All-Americans.”

Jonathan confidently summed up her goals in three sentences.

“My goals are to qualify for the championship meets like I have in the past,” she wrote. “But more importantly it is to place top [three] as a team at NESCACs. I know the team has the ability and I can’t wait to do my part to get us there.”

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