Track and field teams meet success in Carolina outings

| 3/30/15 6:01pm

After a long and dreary winter, the spring interim period provides many Dartmouth students a chance to get outside and enjoy some time in the burgeoning sunshine. Even in late March, though, New Hampshire still has yet to experience the temperature rise felt by states further south. Dartmouth’s men’s and women’s track and field teams took advantage of the warmer weather on their spring trip to North Carolina and South Carolina for two weeks of training and competition.“We went on this trip with two main goals — one, to get some training in without the burden of taking classes,” men’s head coach and director of track and field Barry Harwick said. “And two, to compete.”The teams were divided by their event focus, with the distance runners spending their time in Raleigh, North Carolina, to take advantage of the numerous trails and parks­ — perfect for long distance training runs — and the rest of the team stationed in sunny Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The group in Myrtle Beach then competed at the Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational hosted by Coastal Carolina University on March 19-21. The teams then reunited in Raleigh before competing in the Raleigh Relays, hosted by North Carolina State University on March 27 and 28.Highlighting the Big Green’s performance at the Shamrock Invitational were Nico Robinson ’17 and Allison Frantz ’18, who claimed victories in the men’s decathlon and women’s heptathlon, respectively. Harwick noted the impressiveness of their victories, especially given how early in the season it is and the fact that they competed less than 48 hours after arriving.Finishing behind Frantz in second place was teammate Mary Sieredzinski ’17. Both Robinson and Frantz claimed victories in four individual events on their way to winning their respective events.The women’s team also saw stellar performances from Jennifer Meech ’16, who placed third in the 400 meters (56.55) and seventh in the 200 meters (24.74), and Kaitlin Whitehorn ’16, who placed third in the high jump (5-7.0/1.70m) and 17th in the 100 meters (12.35). Marissa Evans ’18 and Katy Sprout ’17 finished fourth and eighth in the 400m hurdles, respectively, finishing in 1:02.61 and 1:03.47.The men’s side received strong performances from Max Cosculluela ’17, who came in second in the pole vault (15-5.50/4.71m), Corey Muggler ’17, who came in third in the triple jump (47-3.75/14.42m) and Jacob Shippee ’16 and Jim Budzinski ’14, who came in fourth (198-5.0/60.49m) and fifth (196-10.0/59.99m) in the javelin, respectively. Alex Frye ’17 also came in fourth in the high jump (6-8.0/2.03m), and thrower Colin Minor ’18 had a stellar meet, placing fifth in the hammer throw (193-8.0/59.03m), seventh in the shot put (47-7.75/14.52m) and 12th in the discus (143-1.0/43.61m).At the Raleigh Relays, the long distance runners benefitted from uncharacteristically cooler weather and turned in some excellent early season performances. Curtis King ’16 and Brian Masterson ’16 took third and sixth, respectively, in the 10,000 meters on the first night of competition. King finished in 29:24.06 with Masterson a few seconds behind in 29:28.54.On the women’s side, Meech and Whitehorn placed third (25.39) and fourth (25.44) in the 200 meters. Molly Shapiro ’16 placed third in the triple jump (40-3.5/12.28m). Evans placed sixth in both the 400 meters (56.12) and the 400m hurdles (1:02.34), while Sarah Bennett ’16’s eighth place finish in the steeplechase (10:51.30) highlighted the action for the Big Green women.The coaching staff stressed the impressiveness of the team’s ability to overcome the inclement weather.“It’s a transition from indoor to outdoor, and the weather definitely played towards our long distance folks,” women’s head coach Sandy Ford-Centonze said. “We have to make those adjustments and get more of that mental toughness to deal with imperfect conditions, and I think that we were able to do that.”The coaching staff also emphasized the training aspect of competing in these outdoor meets.“The chance to practice and participate in events that we do not compete in the indoor season was very important,” Harwick said. “Overall, I was very pleased with how the team competed.”Ford-Centonze expressed similar sentiments. “Everyone came away from the break excited and looking forward to the outdoor season,” she said. “Our spring season is very short and we have to make the most of every opportunity we have.”Even before the teams left for their spring trip, Dana Giordano ’16 traveled to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to compete in the 3000 meters at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field National Championships. Giordano ran to a 12th-place finish with a time of 9:16.20, which earned her second-team All-American recognition.Giordano said that she was hoping for a top-eight finish, which would have earned her first-team All-American status.“I was with the field for the first mile, but when the pace quickened, I couldn’t maintain the faster speed,” Giordano said.Harwick was pleased with Giordano’s performance.“Tactically, she raced very well, but she was just a bit tired after her workload at Heps,” he said. “Overall, it was a great experience for her to race in a national championship and it was a very solid performance.”The teams will continue training in Hanover and then some members will travel to Durham, New Hampshire, to compete in the University of New Hampshire Invitational on Saturday, April 4.