Track and field dominate Dartmouth Relays this weekend

| 1/12/15 7:30pm

The Dartmouth men’s and women’s track and field teams ushered in 2015 with two dominant team victories at the 46th annual Dartmouth Relays on Sunday, Jan. 11 at the Leverone Field House. This marked the fifth straight Dartmouth Relays team victory for the women’s team, and the fourth straight team victory for the men at the home meet.

The Dartmouth Relays is one of the largest track and field event hosted by the College, which featured three days of high school, college and open levels of competition. The meet also serves as the team’s main fundraising event for their spring trip to train and compete in the South Carolina warmth.

Both the men’s and women’s teams were pleased with how the meet went.

“It was very gratifying to have some very excellent performances this early in the season,” men’s head coach and director of track and field and cross country Barry Harwick said.

Indeed, many of the student-athletes spent the winter interim period in December on campus, training and competing with their teammates. After taking some time away from Hanover to celebrate the holidays, the coaching staff was eager to see how their training had progressed.

“There’s always anticipation to see how our athletes will perform after training on their own,” women’s head coach Sandy Ford-Centonze said. “What we saw was that they trained and competed well.”

The meet featured multiple individual victories on both the men’s and women’s teams. On the men’s side, Phil Gomez ’17 won the 400m in 49.97, and Joey Chapin ’16 won the 3000m in 8:25.09.

The men’s 4x400m (3:23.47) and 4x800m (7:52.92) relay teams also struck gold in their respective races. Max Cosculluela ’17 won the pole vault by vaulting 15-1.00 feet (4.6m), and Alex Frye ’17 won the high jump in 6-6.25 feet (1.99m).

Gomez, who took gold in both the open 400m and the 4x400m, was especially pleased with his relay team’s performance.

“Our 4x400 consists of three freshmen,” he said. “They certainly did their part in that relay, which means there are only great things to come in the following years.”

The men’s team also received strong performances in the 3000m, rounding out the top four spots in the race. Brian Masterson ’16, Miles Irish ’18 and Nat Adams ’17 finished second, third, and fourth respectively behind Chapin.

Ben Colello ’18 also had an excellent home debut, running the 60-meter hurdles in 8.26, the third fastest time in school history.

“I ran a huge [personal record] in the trials and then an even bigger [personal record] in the finals, so it was great to see some improvement there,” Colello said. “I credit that to working hard with both Coach Sandy [Ford-Centonze] and my teammates for the past week.”

The women’s side featured four individual winners as well. Bridget O’Neill ’18 won the mile in 5:06.95, Elizabeth Markowitz ’16 won the 800m in 2:18.03, Helen Schlachtenhaufen ’17 won the 3000m in 10:16.67 and Kaitlin Whitehorn ’16 won the high jump with 5-8.50 feet (1.74m).

The women’s team also received a victory from the 4x400m relay team, winning in 3:50.95.

In the women’s 800 meters, Abby Livingston ’18 followed up Markowitz’s victory with a time of 2:19.64, a fast enough time to earn a second place finish. Markowitz credited their teamwork and the atmosphere at Leverone for the strong performances.

“This was our first time racing at home since [the Ivy League Heptagonal Championship] last March, and it felt great to get back out on the track in Leverone,” Markowitz said. “I had a lot of fun racing the 800 with my teammate Abby [Livingston]. We did a good job of working together and racing from the front, which is always a challenge.”

Whitehorn, who won the high jump and placed third in the 60-meter dash, was satisfied with her performance and looked forward to improving her technique.

“In the high jump I attempted 1.80m for a new personal record and missed, but the attempts were solid,” she admitted. “Hopefully when I clean up my form over the bar, I will be able to set another record.”

The women’s team also received strong performances in the 3000 meters from Leigh Moffett ’18 and Kennedy Jensen ’18, who finished second and third behind Schlachtenhaufen.

Following their strong victories, the men’s and women’s track and field teams will prepare to host the University of Vermont, the University of Maine and Colgate University on Saturday, Jan. 17 at Leverone Field House in Hanover. The following weekend, the teams will travel to New Haven, Conn. on Jan. 24 to face Yale University and Columbia University.