The track and field teams made the short trip down to New London, Conn. for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Invitational on Sat., April 4, where they put up good performances despite enduring rainy and windy conditions throughout the day. The men’s team finished in 11th place with 12 points while the women finished in ninth with 29.5 points, though many athletes did not compete in the event.

“Some girls competed in as many as three running events,” said Sylwia Lipior ’18. “That consists of a lot of warming up and stretching in the cold and rain. Track and field almost never gets cancelled for bad weather so we are all used to dealing with adverse conditions.”

As usual, the women were particularly strong in the long sprints and middle distance races. Sydney Cogswell ’16 got things started with a strong sixth place finish in the 400m dash, crossing the line in 1:03.26. Isabella Reilly ’19 followed right behind Cogswell, coming in ninth place with a time of 1:04.00.

The 800-meter race went just as well for the Cardinals, with Lipior notching a sixth place finish with a time of 2:25.71. Typically a 5000m and 10000m runner, Molly Schassberger ’17 showed off her short-burst speed as she was right on Lipior’s heels, coming through in a personal best time of 2:25.86 for seventh place.

“The 800m was competitive and I ran two seconds slower than my personal record, so that was good for early in the season,” Lipior said. “My personal goal and the whole team’s goal is to perform well at NESCACs. Everyone is aiming to be at their best for this meet.”

Coach Walter Curry threw all of his distance runners from both the men’s and women’s sides into the 1500m on Saturday, and got a number of nice performances out of his athletes in return. In the men’s race, Taylor Titcomb ’16 opened up his season with a solid sixth place finish in a time of 4:09.79 to lead the Cardinals.

Not far behind were Keith Conway ’16 and Reid Hawkins ’17, who came in 13th and 14th with times of 4:13.32 and 4:13.90, respectively. The race was Conway’s first since the fall cross country season, and Hawkins’ time was a personal best.

In the women’s 1500m, Schassberger doubled back from her 800m and was rewarded with both another seventh place finish and another personal record, crossing the line in 4:49.90. Caroline Elmendorf ’17 and Rhoen Fiutak ’19 both notched top ten finishes, coming through in ninth and tenth with times of 4:59.95 and 5:00.23, respectively.

Both the men and the women had a number of good performances in the field. Allegra Fils-Aime ’19 notched her second first place finish in the triple jump in as many weeks. Her victorious 34’ 5” leap was over two feet longer than the runner-up. In the men’s pole vault, Andrew McCracken ’19 claimed fourth with a vault of 13’ 11.25”, a mark that equaled his personal best. Colleen O’Neil ’18 also matched her personal best in the pole vault, clearing 9’ 0.25” for eighth. Katie Maehl ’19 soared over the 4’ 10.25” bar for eighth in the high jump. Wesley Layug ’17 leaped 18’ 3.75”, a mark that allowed him to sneak into the top ten in the long jump results. Finally, Erik Hall ’16 slung the javelin 151’ 1”, good for eighth place.

Drew Trotman ’18 had another good showing in the 400m, coming in 12th with a time of 53.94, breaking 54 seconds for the second week in a row. Layug was a few strides behind Trotman, crossing the line in a personal best time of 54.58 for 13th place.

The women’s 4x400m relay ‘A’ squad of Aida Julien ’18, Cogswell, Reilly, and Claudia Schatz ’19 had a strong third place showing, crossing the line in 4:17.09. Lipior, Elmendorf, Fiutak, and Carina Flaherty ’19 also ran the relay, coming in 12th with a time of 4:37.84. In the 200m dash, Schatz edged out a Springfield College runner by 0.01 for tenth place in a time of 28.77. Hannah Goodman ’16 tacked on another point for the Cardinals with an eighth place finish in the 400m hurdles, finishing in 1:15.28.

“[The distance runners] usually never run such short distances so it was definitely a fun experience and we performed well,” Lipior said. “I can speak for the distance squad and say we would like half or more of the team to qualify for postseason meets. Overall, we had a good day with good performances even in the subpar weather, which indicated the great fitness and determination of our team.”

The men racked up a few more points on the track between the 3000m steeplechase and the 4x100m relay. Riley Hawkins-Hecock ’19 scored a point for the Cardinals with an eighth place finish in the steeplechase, making it across the finish line in a time of 10:38.00. McCracken, Trotman, Albert Fang ’18, and Jessy Carrasco-Gonzales ’18 combined for a time of 45.77 in the 4x100m relay, good for seventh place and two more points.

Next up, the Cardinals will hope for better conditions when they travel up to Amherst on Saturday, April 9 for the annual Amherst Spring Fling meet.

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