Both the men’s and women’s track and field teams put together strong performances at the Amherst Spring Fling Invitational on Saturday. Competing in a field of nine schools, the women came in fourth with 50 points, besting NESCAC rivals Trinity and Williams, while the men secured seventh with 43 points. Worcester Polytechnic Institute, United States Coast Guard Academy, and Amherst took the top three spots in both the men’s and women’s scoring.
The 400 meter runners were crucial to the women’s fourth place showing on Saturday, securing 26 points across three events. In the 400 meter race, Alexandra Dibrindisi ’19 took third place with a time of 1:00.55, her fastest time thus far in a Wesleyan singlet. Jenny Aguiar ’19 showed no rust in competing in the 400 meter hurdles for the first time in her collegiate career, taking first place in 1:05.71. Finally, the 4×400 meter relay team of Aguiar, Dibrindisi, Aida Julien ’18, and Ananya Subrahmanian ’18 combined to bring home first place with their time of 4:06.89, well ahead of Coast Guard’s 4:12.55 second place time.
While the women got big points in the various 400 meter events, the men got the bulk of their points in the field. Agbon Edomwonyi ’16 had a spectacular day, once again proving himself to be one of the best all-around throwers in the NESCAC.
“Saturday’s events went very well for me,” Edomwonyi said. “After missing the previous meet from injury it felt good to be back. I think NESCACs will be very interesting this year as I will be competing for some of the top spots.”
Edomwonyi took first place in the discus throw with a personal best mark of 140’ 8”, over five feet further than the second place finisher from WPI, Jason Beauregard. However, in the hammer throw, Beauregard flipped the script, besting Edomwonyi. Nevertheless, Edomwonyi’s second place throw of 157’ 3” was also a personal best.
Olaniyi Adebayo ’19 also had a nice showing in the shot put, capturing fifth place with a 38’ 11” throw, a personal best at Wesleyan. The rest of the men’s points in the field came in the pole vault. Andrew McCracken ’19 tied for the highest vault of the day at 13’ 11.25”, but was awarded second place based on missed attempts at lower heights. Jessy Carrasco-Gonzales ’18 also got a point for the Cardinals in the pole vault with his sixth place vault of 12’ 9.5”.
“As a whole, the throws team did very well, especially our new throwers who are showing marked improvement,” Edomwonyi said. “I think many people had a good showing, especially seeing as it was our first relatively good-weathered meet.”
Though their depth in the 400 meter events was a big reason for their success, the women displayed considerable range on Saturday, scoring points in ten different disciplines, from the sprints to long distance and on the field as well. Allegra Fils-Aime ’19 best exemplified this range, with point-scoring performances in three events. In the field, Fils-Aime’s mark of 35’ 7.75” in the triple jump was good for second place. Competing in her first 100 meter dash at Wesleyan, Fils-Aime took fifth in 13.07. Fils-Aime also had a strong showing in the 200 meter dash, taking fourth with a time of 26.83.
The women’s team also left their mark in the distance events. Molly Schassberger ’17 once again led the way for the Cardinals in the 1500 meter, securing a fourth place finish with a personal best time of 4:49.49. Schassberger was the top finisher among NESCAC athletes in the race. Caroline Elmendorf ’17 finished shortly after her teammate, crossing the line in 4:51.07 for sixth and a personal best of her own. In the 5000 meter, Rhoen Fiutak ’19 came through with a solid time of 18:57.49, good for seventh place. Moving to the shorter 800 meter race, Nikita Rajgopal ’17 led a quartet of Cardinals, crossing the line in 2:22.78 for eighth place.
The men’s distance runners also had strong showings in the competitive 800 meter, 1500 meter, and 5000 meter fields. Will Dudek ’17 opened his season with an 800 meter, dropping down in distance from his usual 1500 meter race and coming through in a personal best time of 1:57.24 for seventh place. In the 1500 meter, Tate Knight ’18 led the Cardinals with a tenth place finish, crossing the line in 4:04.61, a personal best. Reid Hawkins ’17 was not far behind Knight, nabbing fourteenth place in 4:08.00, yet another personal best. Lastly, Joshua Signore ’19 and Dontay Downer ’19 impressed in the 5000 meter, finishing the long race in 15:43.44 and 15:46.97 for eighth and eleventh, respectively.
Apart from Fils-Aime’s impressive second place showing in the triple jump, the women had several other notable performances in the field events. Katie Maehl ’19 scored points in both the long jump and the high jump. She captured fifth in the high jump, making it over the 5’ 0.25” bar on her final attempt. In the long jump, Maehl took sixth with a jump of 15’ 0.5”, a quarter of an inch short of fifth. Also in the field was Colleen O’Neill ’18, who came in fifth and finally made it over the ten-foot bar after being stuck at 9’ 0.25” for over a year.
Though only a few athletes from the men’s team ran in the shorter track events at Amherst, those who did made the most of it. Drew Trotman ’18 had a breakout race in the 200 meter dash, coming through in a big personal best time of 22.83 to take third place. Trotman doubled back for the 4×400 meter relay, teaming up with Albert Fang ’18, Colin Mahoney ’18, and Austin Dhillon ’18 to bring home second place with a time of 3:29.09.
Next up, the Cardinals plan to make the short trip down to New London, Conn. on Friday, April 15 where they will look to keep on rolling at the two-day Connecticut College Invitational.