Competing against Rhode Island College and University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, the women’s track team scored seven victories while the men’s team earned two at the indoor Wesleyan Track and Field Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 23. The women’s middle-distance squad performed particularly well, notching victories in the 400m, 600m, 800m, and mile events while also securing second place positions in the 600m, 800m, and 1000m races. The Cardinals excelled in the field events as well, with both teams winning the pole vault event and with quality showings from the women in the jumps and the men in the throwing events.
In the sprints, Alexis Walker ’16 continued to round back into form after ending last season with a hamstring injury. Walker came through in second place in the 60m dash, 0.06 off the winning mark. Also on the women’s side, Sarah Swenson ’18 and Alexandra Dibrindisi ’19 took second and third respectively in the 200m dash. For the men, Albert Fang ’18 made it through the preliminary heats of both the 60m and 200m events and took sixth place in each.
Though none of the Cardinals on the men’s team competed in the 400m run, Jenny Aguiar ’19 turned in an impressive sub-60 second clocking for the win in the women’s 400m, beating out her competitors by over two seconds.
“Having my first individual win in a collegiate race gave me a feeling of accomplishment I’ve never experienced before,”Aguiar said. “Crossing the line in first place made me realize I should never settle, and no matter what type of competition there is, I have to race my hardest.”
Moving to the field, Agbon Edomwonyi ’16 continued to lead the Cardinals in the throwing events with two quality performances, achieving a second place effort in the weight throw and third in the shot put. In the jumping events, Walker won the long jump with a season best jump of 5.28m, while Allegra Fils-Aime ’19 also had a season best jump of 10.95m in the triple jump, earning second place. Katie Maehl ’19 recorded a 1.52m leap that was good for third place in the high jump. In the pole vault, Andrew McCracken ’19 was victorious with a 4.1m vault, while Kiley Kennedy ’16 cracked 3m to take the win on the women’s side.
The women’s runners made quick work of their competition in the middle-distance events. Aida Julien ’18 and Ananya Subrahmanian ’18 took the top two spots in the 600m dash, while Hannah Goodman ’16 came in fourth, just missing out on a clean sweep. Moving up to 800m, Sydney Cogswell ’16 and Claudia Schatz ’19 also took first and second. In the 1000m event, Isabella Reilly ’19 secured another second place finish for the Cardinals, eight seconds off the winner. Lastly, Nikita Rajgopal ’17 was given the unenviable task of running in the mile event without any other competitors in her first race since the outdoor season.
“Even though we don’t have the numbers that other schools have, we are very strong in these events,” Cogswell said. “Putting up quality performances early in the season is definitely a boost for our confidence.”
While the women filled the results page in the middle-distance events, the Cardinals had only two entries on the men’s side, but they made the most of their races. In the 800m run, Austin Dhillon ’18 secured his first individual win at Wesleyan with a clocking of 2:05.65 to edge out a UMass Dartmouth runner by 0.2 seconds. In the 1000m event, Colin Mahoney ’18 barely missed a victory of his own, coming in about 1 second behind the winner from UMass Dartmouth.
As usual, the distance runners who participated in the long cross country season took another week off from competition to train and recover with hopes of being fresh for the championship races later in the season and for the outdoor season. As the season goes on, more and more Cardinals will take to the track to demonstrate their fitness.
Though the Cardinals have only competed in a few relatively small meets this season, they are already thinking big, both on an individual and a team level, with an eye toward the indoor championship races.
“I would love to see the Wesleyan track and field team place high in Division Threes,” Aguiar said. “Our team is relatively small compared to most, but we have a lot of depth and talent throughout all events.”
Looking forward, the Cardinals will travel to Tufts this Saturday, Jan. 30, to compete at the Tufts Stampede Invitational.