Men’s and Women’s track finish first
Edward Rudman – Sports Writer
The men’s and women’s track and field teams both finished in first place at the James Barber Tri-Meet at Jess Dow field on Saturday, April 11. The men scored 166 points and the women scored 153. Both programs beat the likes of Northeast 10 universities, including Franklin Pierce and University of New Haven.
“The athletes have gotten better in each meet, which is a good sign. We’ve been training them pretty hard, all the groups have been training pretty hard,” said Men’s Head Coach John Wallin. “As a staff, asking them to compete better regardless of how they feel is a lot and they’ve been able to do that.”
On the track side, the program saw two individual wins. Graduate student, Connor Shannahan won the 5000-meter run with a personal best time of 14:37.56, the program’s fifth fastest time in its history.It is the fastest time since Jay O’Keefe and Andy Kohlbrenner accomplished the feat in 1986, according to the university’s athletic website. In the 800-meter dash, Carlos Flores, a senior, finished in first place with a time of 1:56.48. Nolan Scott, a freshman, finished in fifth with a time of 2:02.67.
“From the team perspective, it’s very exciting. It’s been a very long time since we’ve been able to kind of compete as a unit like that and seeing everyone still being able to perform well is really impressive,” said Shannahan. “Individually, it was exciting to finally get to race again after there being a delay. I hadn’t been able to compete since cross country of 2019 so it was a really long time. It’s nice after training for so long to go out and put together a pretty solid performance.”
The men took first place in four different field events, including Jack Brown in the pole vault with a height of 4.80 meters, Bernardo Mbaya in the discus throw with a personal best of 44.25 meters, Natanael Torres Barbosa in the shotput with a personal best of 15.14 meters and Jason Sawicki in the high jump with a 1.80 meter leap. The women, on the other hand, have competed in half the meets that the men have but still outscored the second place finishers, Franklin Pierce by 53 points.
“I think, overall, everyone’s progressed and it’s been 11 weeks now of being together training. Each week that goes by, you’re seeing the girls learn something new everyday, compounding that from week to week, sharpening their training and their racing acumen,” said Women’s Head Coach Melissa Stoll. “They’re becoming more aware and they’re really putting together and using the tools that we’re giving them and really going out there and executing.”
The track portion saw four first place finishes. Kylie Neretich, a freshman, competed in her first meet of the season as an Owl, finishing in first place in the 100 meter hurdles and in the 400 meter hurdles.
“It felt really good to be back on the track. We’ve been working really hard to get to this point and we’re still not at our 100% yet but we’re still definitely working towards,” said Neretich. “I thought we all did very well. There’s always going to be room for improvement and we can definitely get better but overall, I think we did pretty good.”
The Owls finished first in the 4×100 meter relay with a time of 51.04 and the 4×400 meter relay with a time of 4:13.03.