After competing in harsh headwinds and sweltering heat, the women’s track and field team returned home this weekend from the UAAs with a second-place finish, while the men placed third at the meet. Washington University in St. Louis bested all the teams, acquiring both the men’s and women’s UAA titles.
“We ran well. Wash. U just ran better,” Head Coach John Curtin said. “They were substantially better than us in the field, and that’s what did us in on the meet.”
The women’s 169.50 points were short of Wash. U’s 231.50 first-place finish. The men earned 144.5 points for their finish behind Carnegie Mellon, who hosted the conference, with 152 and Wash. U with 221.
“I think we ran really well Saturday. We advanced more people to the finals than just about anybody,” Curtin said. “Sunday we ran well, but not as well as we hoped.”
Senior Melissa Jones led the women’s team, securing both the 5K and 10K individual conference championships in a time of 18 minutes 44.61 seconds and 38:28.82, respectively.
“Obviously I wanted to win for myself, but more importantly, I wanted to score as many points as possible for my team,” Jones said. “Conferences are the point where we all do it for each other.”
For the third year in a row, senior Jordan Beall took first place in the women’s long jump, bettering her provisional qualifying distance and setting a UAA track record with a jump of 5.68 meters; her javelin throw of 34.69 m also earned her second place. Senior Rebecca Willett’s performance in the 800, finishing in 2:16.66, gained another first-place finish for the women.
“Rebecca Willett dominated the field in the 800,” Curtin said. “Seniors were just great for us.”
In the 400-meter dash, freshman Alix Dyer stepped it up for the women, earning an individual championship in the event with a time of 57.77 seconds. The women’s sprinting team, made up of Beall, Dyer, freshman Monique Osigbeme and junior Crystal Spence, championed the 4x100-meter relay in a time of 47.55, setting a UAA conference record.
Curtin said this performance was the most impressive from the meet.
“Running in 1.5 miles per hour headwinds is a really tough prospect, and the girls handled it really well,” junior Alex Greenhouse added.
Osigbeme earned second place in the 100 in a time of 12.93 and fourth place in the 200 in a time of 25.95. Spence also placed in these events, coming in third in the 100 in 13.17 and second in the 200 in 25.61. Freshman Lauren Attiah provisionally qualified for her 11.63 triple long jump, which earned her second place at the meet, and freshman Tess Gallegos finished fourth in the 5K, coming in at 19:02.08.
On the men’s side, Greenhouse’s season-best performance of 53.63 in the 400-meter hurdles earned him second place and a provisional qualifying time. In addition, he placed third in the 100 with a 11.16 finish.
“I am pretty happy with both, and I was glad I made a difference for the team,” Greenhouse said.
Junior Fritz Hain placed fourth in the 400 hurdles in a time of 54.98, and senior Adam Moroff earned fifth with a time of 55.73.
“Fritz and Moroff did fantastic jobs this weekend,” Greenhouse said. “They had really big performances.”
Greenhouse, along with sophomore Jason Campbell, junior Tyler Faits and junior
Chike Brennen won the 4x400 in a time of 3:19.45, the sole championship win for the men.
Faits placed second in the 200 and the 400, with times of 22.07 and 50.08, respectively. With a time of 15:25.37, junior Tommy Fyffe scored second in the men’s 5K, while junior Paul Winterhalter came in fifth at 15:32.04. Winterhalter also placed in the 10K, earning third with a time of 33:13.62. Fyffe pulled a fourth-place finish in the 3000-meter steeplechase in 9:40.46.
“It’s really tough. UAAs is almost a relay race within itself,” Greenhouse said
of the 30 minutes between events. “I think Tommy did a great job dealing with the stress of going from one event to the next and had a great weekend.”
Other notable finishes for the men were freshman Ian Francis’ third and fourth place in the long jump and triple jump with distances of 6.78 and 13.82, respectively, and sophomore Brad Pruente’s 1.89 meter high jump second-place finish and sixth-place finish in the javelin throw with a distance of 48.73 meters.
“Literally both events happened concurrently,” Greenhouse said. “Brad was running back and forth between events.”
The team splits up next weekend, with the distance runners to compete at North Central and the sprinters to the Orange and Purple Classic, hosted by Clemson University (S.C.).
“Right now we are down to the kids with national aspirations, so our roster is down to about 28 kids now,” Curtin said.
— Contact Christina White.