Dartmouth track and field gets set for weekend Relays

by Matt Mackey | 1/6/06 6:00am

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Men's and women's track and field hope to jumpstart the new season with an impressive showing at the Dartmouth Relays, held at Leverone Field House.
by Zak Kaufman / The Dartmouth

The three-day meet opens Friday with the women's pentathlon, the first day of the men's heptathlon and Master's track and field events. Saturday will see the high-school events and the conclusion of the men's heptathalon, before the meet concludes Sunday with open events and the Grafton County one-lapper for children under ten years old.

As one of the earliest meets of the indoor track season, the Relays will provide an excellent opportunity for athletes to gauge the progress made in the preseason. The meet should also provide an excellent showcase for some of the most talented high-school athletes in the East and Canada. The boys' high-school mile, for instance, is certain to prove exciting, as the race is a qualifier for the prestigious Melrose Games, to be held in New York City next month.

"It is a great meet for the Dartmouth team to start the season with," said men's head coach Barry Harwick '77. "It is great publicity for our program and is a big boost to recruiting" as well as "an important element in fundraising for Friends of Dartmouth Track and Field."

Perhaps one of the most renowned athletes to compete this weekend, Jen Stuczynski, will be pole vaulting for Suhr Sports. Stuczynski currently has the best pole vault in the U.S. this year with a height of 15 feet (for comparison, the U.S. all-time record is 15' 9 1/4", held by Stacy Dragila).

Additionally, the women's pentathalon should see solid performances from some of Dartmouth's athletes. Kelsey Weigmann '06 has placed in the event multiple times at the (Ivy League) Heptagonal Championships and Mattie Chatterton-Richmond '06 is also one to watch.

The relays mark the beginning of the season for Dartmouth's teams. Levrone Field House will play host to five more track meets over the course of the season, concluding with the Heptagonal Championships on Feb. 25-26. The Big Green has high goals in mind for this event.

"The men's team is trying to build on last year's runner-up finish at outdoor Heps and the [cross country] squad's win at Heps this fall," said Harwick. "The team should be very strong."

Women's head coach Sandra Ford-Centonze chose to defer her judgment until after the Relays, but the women are likely to be strong in the field events. Ford-Centonze did say that the women are looking to place as high as possible at Heps.

The Dartmouth Relays will be held at Levrone Field House; competition begins at 11 a.m. today, 8 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday. Event entries, schedules and results can be found online at www.lancertiming.com.