Gray skies loomed over Wesleyan’s final regular season meet this past Saturday, April 22. Held on the all too familiar Anderson Outdoor Track, the J. Elmer Swanson Invitational featured numerous victories for a Cardinal team that seems to be peaking at the right time.
Already set to attend the NESCAC Outdoor Championships is Grant Van Inwegen ’20, who has consistently finished on the podium in long distance events. On Saturday, he placed second in both the 800-meter and 1,500-meter runs, finishing just behind fellow first-year teammate Conner Sexton in the latter race. Sexton scored a spot on the podium with a time of 4:04.41. The 1,500-meter was also a friend to Wes upperclassmen, as two juniors—Tate Knight and Connor Cobb— placed fourth and fifth with times of 4:09.10 and 4:10.54, respectively. Also placing in the 800-meter was Colin Mahoney ’18, who crossed the line in fifth in 2:02.36.
During the infamous 3,000-meter steeplechase, Bill Bajohr ’20 and Kevin McMorrow ’20 claimed the top two spots with times of 10:04.84 and 10:17.18.
The women’s team also dominated the 800-meter and 1,500-meter middle-distance races. Sylwia Lipior ’18 won the 800-meter with a time of 2:23.23. Following her in third and fourth place were Claudia Schatz ’19 and Nikita Rajgopal ’17 with times of 2:23.90 and 2:24.30, respectively. In the 1,500-meter, Wesleyan took home the top six spots thanks to veteran and fresh-faced team members alike: Julia Mitchell ’19 (4:54.77), Isabella Reilly ’19 (5:08.26), Sara Pinsonault ’20 (5:08.79), Rosie Skovron ’20 (5:09.42), Carina Flaherty ’19 (5:10.63), and Katie Scruggs ’17 (5:11.00).
The women’s 4×400-meter relay comprised of Alexandra Dibrindisi ’19, Tess Holland ’18, Allegra Fils-Aime ’19, and Isabella Reilly ’19 continued to blow past other teams, finishing first with a time of 4:09.00. Two members of the relay team went on to place in individual events as well. Fils-Aime won the 200-meter with a time of 26.55, while Dibrindisi placed second to Jenny Aguiar ’19 in the 400-meter run in 59.95. Aguiar had run in the same 4×400-relay the week prior, while Dibrindisi raced in her place this week.
“My favorite part about running the relay is being a part of a team event,” said Aguiar. “Track, for the most part, is known to be extremely individual. The relays though are the best part because your individual works matters to the rest of the relay in that event. The pressure is on, and you want to make your three other relay legs proud. I love being on the relay because it brings me and other teammates closer together.”
The men’s team also tallied victories in relay competition, placing first in the 4×100-meter race with a mark of 44.42. All four members of the team saw individual success as well. Kyle Shin ’20 finished third in the 100-meter dash in 11.60, followed by Jack Northrop ’20, who came in fifth with a time of 11.81. In the 200-meter dash, the other two relay members Drew Trotman ’18 and Frank McField ’20 came in second and third with times of 23.38 and 23.43, respectively. McField went on to win the 400-meter dash with a time of 51.36, while Trotman finished fifth in 54.45.
On the field, familiar high-flying rookie Tara Peng ’20 claimed third in the high jump, followed in fourth by Jordan Dunaway-Barlow ’20. The two both achieved a height of 1.45m. Casey Rothschild ’20, another first year in the field, won the pole vault event with a height of 3.20m. Peng finished second in the same event by clearing 2.95m.
The men’s team enjoyed even more success in the field than on the track. In the pole vault event, the team took the top three spots: Andrew McCracken ’19 shared the top spot on the podium with Jessy Carrasco-Gonzalez ’18, while Pau Rius Valor ’20 claimed third place after clearing 3.50m. Excelling both on the track and in the field, 4×100-meter relay team member Northrop won the long jump with a mark of 5.99m.
As Wesley Layug ’17 claimed third in the triple jump with a score of 11.36m, the men’s shot put saw Olaniyi Adebayo ’19 finish second and Ricardo Vazquez ’20 come in third. The two went on to claim fourth and fifth in the discus, Vazquez with a throw of 31.63m and Adebayo with a heave of 30.75m. Vazquez also placed in two more events later in the day: second in the hammer throw, and third in the javelin with a mark of 43.57m.
After such a successful home meet, the Cardinals look toward NESCAC competition in the upcoming weeks.
“The strong performances in wet conditions is a good confidence builder going into the NESCAC conference meet on April 29 at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine,” said Head Coach Walter Curry.
“For the rest of the season I’m looking forward to improving from here on out,” Aguiar said. “We started on a decently strong note, so I look forward to getting even more competitive and getting our times faster… With lots of talented runners, throwers, jumpers, it’s going to be a great opportunity for intense competition.”