This week, the Cardinals traveled to Williamstown, Mass. for the NESCAC Championships, looking to prove that their early-season results were not a fluke. The result was a solid sixth place for the men, who scored 70 points—just three points off Middlebury in fourth. This was an improvement on last year’s seventh place finish. The women scored 52 points in a disappointing ninth, but were without short sprinter and long jumper Alexis Walker ’16 and Captain Idara Foster ’15.
LaDarius Drew ’15 provided the big lift for the men, scoring 28 individual points and carrying the Cardinals to fourth in the 4x100m relay. Drew notched a victory in the 100m by six-hundredths of a second after finishing as the runner-up last year. Drew also defended his title in the long jump, beating out the field by almost a full foot. Drew also was the runner-up in the 200m.
For the women, point-scoring came from a number of athletes, but Ellie Martin ’16 and Orelia Jonathan ’15 were especially influential. Martin claimed her first NESCAC title in winning the 400m, holding off a Colby runner down the home-straight by less than two-tenths of a second. Melissa Luning ’15 ran hard for a solid sixth place in the 400m as well.
Martin came back in the 4x400m relay and laid down a superb leg to give the Cardinals the lead heading into the final hand-off, but Williams’ anchor leg was too fast for Wesleyan. Still, Wes matched their runner-up finish from last year and demolished the school record, finishing in 3:53.64.
Jonathan rode her regular season success into the postseason as well, setting personal records in the shot put and hammer throw en route to seventh and fifth place, respectively. Jonathan also launched a throw in the discus good for fourth place, giving her eleven points on the day. She improved her place in all three events over last year.
Evan Bieder ’15 claimed another victory for the Cards. He ran a terrific race in the 5000m that was nearly identical to the one he ran last week. Bieder stuck with the lead pack in the early going, and during the last few laps he and Williams’ top runner broke off. He remained stride-for-stride with Williams until the last back-straight, where he passed the Ephs’ runner and built his lead until the finish line, winning by just over a second. Also in the race was Taylor Titcomb ’16, who matched his sixth place performance from last year.
Thomas Reid ’18 also followed up on his success in the regular season with a tremendous third place and a sizable personal record in the 110m hurdles, beating out a Middlebury runner by one-hundredth of a second. Reid continued his triumphs with a seventh-place run in the 400m hurdles, setting another personal record.
“The 110m hurdles was definitely the highlight for me,” Reid said. “I felt very fresh and nervous going in, and my rhythm was working for me. The competition definitely helped me push the pace, and I had a lot of fun in that race.”
Another bright spot for the men in the throwing events was Agbon Edomwonyi ’16. Edomwonyi claimed third and seventh place in the shot put and the hammer throw, respectively. He set a season best in the shot put with a throw of 14.83m. Unfortunately, Edomwonyi could not register a throw in the discus, fouling three times.
“Overall, [we] did phenomenally well, especially in comparison to last season and considering that many of our teammates are playing hurt, including me,” Edomwonyi said.
On the women’s side, the distance duo of Caroline Elmendorf ’17 and Molly Schassberger ’17 ran great races to claim third and fourth in the 5000m and 10000m, respectively. The 4x800m relay also ran hard for third place. Kiley Kennedy ’16 got the team some points in the pole vault, just missing her personal record en route to a sixth place finish.
Finally, Tate Knight ’18 notched a very impressive third in the 3000m steeplechase, improving on his time from Coast Guard by a full 36 seconds. Jessy Carrasco-Gonzales ’18 and Erik Hall ’16 also added one point each, claiming eighth-place finishes in the pole vault and javelin, respectively.
“A smaller program like ours is always going to have to scrape for points at meets like this one, and in that sense, I’m proud of the team,” Reid said. “Everyone came ready to work and came together to support one another. I was just happy to be there and to do it for a team that’s really come together over the past few months.”