Competing against a number of opponents, including NESCAC rival Tufts, the women’s team collected two victories and seven second place awards en route to a third place finish at the Tufts Stampede Invitational last Saturday. The men snagged one win and had two runners-up to place seventh. The distance runners, many of whom were competing for the first time this season, translated their success from the cross country season to the track with a number of strong performances. The women’s team saw quality performances in almost every event from sprints to distance to field events.

Jenny Aguiar ’19 continued her indoor success this weekend, crossing the finish line in first place in the 600m run, her second victory in as many weeks. The first-year’s time of 1:38.18 was a big improvement on the clock over her 1:41.72 two weeks earlier. Hannah Goodman ’16 and Isabella Reilly ’19 also competed in the race, finishing in fifth and seventh place, respectively.

Will Dudek ’17 picked up right where he left off when he last ran (at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in November), giving the Cardinals a convincing win in the mile run with a superb time of 4:15.74, almost eight seconds faster than the second place finisher. Tate Knight ’18 also had a solid run of 4:25.75, which was good for fifth place.

“4:15 is right where I wanted to be for the season opener,” Dudek said. “I had a pacer through 1000m and then finished on my own, so I’m excited to have some real competition in two weeks at Boston University, where I hope to rip a [NCAA Indoor Championships] qualifier.”

The women’s second win also came in a distance event, as Molly Schassberger ’17 got the best of a speedy Tufts runner in the 3000m run with a time of 10:21.32. Schassberger and the second-place finisher dueled it out up front, well ahead of a chase pack led by Julia Mitchell ’19 and Christina Hebner ’17, who closed strong for third and fourth place finishes of their own.

Another strong performance came from Taylor Titcomb ’16, who followed up his 36th place finish at XC Nationals with a second place showing in the 3000m run, crossing the line in 8:49.52. Other quality performances came from Austin Dhillon ’18, who took sixth place in the 800m at 2:02.70, and Reid Hawkins ’17, who came through in 15:47.66 to get fifth in the 5000m. In the 1000m, Colin Mahoney ’18 nabbed a tenth place finish in 2:43.59, his best time of the season.

The women also did well in the sprints, as Alexis Walker ’16 continued her return to form with a second place finish in the 60m dash with a time of 7.92, one hundredth of a second off the winning time.

“Coming back after an injury that cut my outdoor season short last year has been exciting and long awaited,” Walker said. “I had high hopes for last season but since I didn’t get to accomplish them, I’m even more pumped to do so this year.”

Allegra Fils-Aime ’19 gave the Cardinals another eight points, finishing second with a time of 26.66 in the 200m event. Wesleyan got second, third, and fourth place finishes in the 400m run, as Ananya Subrahmanian ’18, Sarah Swenson ’18, and Alexandra Dibrindisi ’19 combined for the near-sweep.

Moving to the mid-distance events, Aida Julien ’18 bettered her time from two weeks ago in the 800m, coming through in 2:24.46 to pick up another second place finish. In the 1000m run, Sydney Cogswell ’16 achieved a season best time of 3:13.09, good for fifth, while Claudia Schatz ’19 ran the race in 3:23.44 for ninth. Sylwia Lipior ’18 and Nikita Rajgopal ’17 ran well in the mile, collecting sixth and seventh place finishes in 5:33.93 and 5:36.71, respectively. Cogswell, Schatz, Lipior, and Julien nearly took the win in the 4×800 relay, as the Tufts relay team just nipped them in a time of 9:47.38 to 9:47.81.

The women’s success was not limited to the track, however, as both of their entries in the field events collected second place finishes. Katie Maehl ’19 cleared the 5’ 1.75” bar on her final attempt in the high jump, but had to settle for second after missing the mark at 5’ 3.75”. In the pole vault, Kiley Kennedy ’16 soared over the 10 foot bar, equaling her mark from the past two weeks, but was unable to clear at 10’ 6”. On the men’s side, Andrew McCracken ’19 got his own second place finish in the pole vault, clearing 13’ 11.25” on his first try. Jessey Carrasco-Gonzales ’18 came in ninth with a mark of 12’ 11.5”.

After all the great performances today, excitement abounded as athletes looked forward.

“My personal goal is to simply have a season to remember,” Walker said. “I hope to have some personal best performances but of course I’m also trying to make it back to nationals and come back with an All-American title again. I want this season to be the best one yet. As for the team, well we have a great young team. I want everyone [to] reach personal bests and make as many championships as possible.”

Up next, Wesleyan will return to its own track on Saturday, Feb. 6, where it will host the second Wesleyan Indoor Invitational of the year.

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