As the Wesleyan athletics scene transitions from winter to spring sports, track and field continues running seamlessly from the indoor to the outdoor season. With NCAA Division III Indoor Championship in Birmingham, Ala. looming ahead, the team has been making strides with personal records, school records, and top-ten finishes.
On Friday, Feb. 17, the men’s team traveled to Middlebury, Vt. to compete in the New England Division III Championship. Tying for 23rd of 28 teams, the squad took home two top-ten finishes; Grant van Inwegen ’20 earned sixth in the 1,000-meter run, while first year Kevin DeLoughry finished ninth in the 400-meter race. DeLoughry continued his success in the 4×400-meter relay along with Kyron Roberts ’21, George Avrassoglou ’19, and Jay Carter ’21, placing 13th in 3:31.31. Thirteen proved to be a lucky number as Andrew McCracken ’19 finished 13th in the pole vault event with 4.36, followed by senior Jessy Carrasco with a 4.21 mark.
On the same date at Springfield College, the women’s team placed eighth of 30 teams. Junior Jenny Aguiar led the pack with a top-title finish in the 600-meter run with a time of 1:37.15, and Ivie Uzamere ’21 continued her stellar rookie season with second-place marks in the shot put and weight throw. Back on the track, distance runners Julia Mitchell ’19 and Sara Pinsonault ’20 gave notable performances with a 7th-place finish in the mile run and a 13th-place mark during the 5,000-meter race, respectively. Two relays landed in the top-ten slots, as Ananya Subrahmanian ’18, Julia Cella ’21, and juniors Aguiar, Allegra Fils-Aime, and Alex Dibrindisi took third in the 4×400-meter relay, while Dibrindisi, Cella, and Subrahmanian ran with Tess Holland ’18 and Isis Gaddy ’21 to place ninth in the 4×200-meter event.
A week later, the women’s and men’s teams once again claimed individual accomplishments at the Fast Track Last Chance Meet in Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex. On the men’s side, two third-place efforts came from McCracken in the pole vault and sophomore Conner Sexton in the 3,000-meter event. DeLoughry and van Inwegen once again landed in the top ten, this time with a fifth-place effort in the 400-meter and fourth place in the 1,000-meter event, respectively. Van Inwegen’s 2:30.35 was good for the program record, beating the 2:31.25 record set in 2005.
“I’ve had that time in the back of my head since freshman year, so it was a long time coming,” van Inwegen said about his record finish. “I felt really smooth throughout the race, and with a lap to go I knew it was in reach, so I went for it.”
Numerous members of the team also earned top spots as John Henry Vansant ’18 and Adam Linksy ’20 snagged eighth and ninth place in the 5,000m, respectively. Two more ninth-place efforts came from Roberts in the 400-meter race and Tate Knight ’18, following Sexton, in the 3,000-meter. Off the track, Carrasco claimed eighth place in the pole vault with a 4.25.
Not to be outdone, the women’s track and field team did not disappoint as they claimed five top-ten finishes. Mitchell took the highest honor with a fourth-place mark in the 3,000-meter run, followed by first year Lizzie Edwards and sophomore Rosie Skovron in 13th and 15th, respectively. Senior Sylwia Lipior took the second-best finish for the team, claiming fifth during the 1,000-meter event. Pinsonault moved up in the rankings from her mile-run stunt the week before, this time taking the ninth slot with first year Becky Lopez-Anido right in front of her in eighth.
The Red and Black will compete again next weekend, March 1-2, at Tufts. The Massachusetts meet is deemed the “Last Chance Meet,” aptly named for the final race of the indoor season. Yet as the weather warms up and competition moves outside, these Cardinals don’t have time to relax in the nest.
“The team views track as one whole season,” van Inwegen said. “There’s no gap in training between winter and spring. We continue to build off of what we’ve been doing in the winter to get our fitness levels as high as possible for those late outdoor meets.”
The Cardinals look to keep pace and run on toward the heat of summer and the release of graduation. Outdoor meets begin Saturday, March 24 during the Wesleyan Spring Classic and ends with the outdoor Last Chance Meet on Thursday, May 17 before the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championship.
Zoë Kaplan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.