Track and field teams finish indoor seasons at Ivy League Heptagonal Championships

by Mark Cui | 3/6/17 2:20am

At the 2017 Ivy League Heptagonal Indoor Championship last weekend, Dartmouth’s men’s track and field team finished in third with a total of 82 points, and the women’s track and field team finished with 62 points to claim sixth.

The event took place at the Armory Track in Manhattan, New York, an exciting environment for the Dartmouth athletes to compete in.

“What gets me hyped is traveling for long periods of time and building up the suspense,” Max Cosculluela ’17 said. “Thousands and thousands of people have competed on this track, so it’s pretty sweet to be able to compete where they’ve competed.”

Cha’Mia Rothwell ’20 echoed a similar sentiment.

“Electric is the one word I can use to describe it,” Rothwell said. “All the Ivies are really competitive, and that translates into the athletic arenas as well. People were loud and hyped-up, and it was great to perform in that environment.”

Despite the added pressure of competing in a world-renowned environment, both teams finished with strong performances across the board.

“One of the things we set out to do as a team was to score in as many different events as we possibly could there [out of the 20 events],” men’s track and field head coach Barry Harwick said. “As it turns out, the men and the women scored in 14. That’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good.”

On the men’s side, Harwick was particularly impressed by Tim Brennan ’17and Cosculluela, both of whom exceeded expectations in their respective events of weight throw and pole vault. In the weight throw, Brennan placed in third with his 65-1.5 feet/19.85 meter throw, securing six points for the Big Green. In the pole vault, Cosculluela tied his season best of 16-6.75 ft/5.05m to finish in second place for the second consecutive year, bringing home eight points. His season best had only been enough to secure the sixth best performance in the league going in, but it was good enough for second in the meet.

“A lot of the guys who were projected to do better just had a bad meet, but that’s the way the pole vault goes — whoever shows up that day is the one who wins,” Consculluela said.

In addition to Brennan and Cosculluela, Nico Robinson ’17, Corey Muggler ’17, Alex Frye ’17 and Justin Donawa ’19 recorded impressive performances in field events. Robinson earned second team All-Ivy honors after placing second in the men’s heptathlon. In the long jump, Muggler earned fourth place with a 23-11.0 ft/7.29m jump. In the high jump, Frye secured fourth place with a 2.04m jump, earning four points. In the triple jump, Donawa and Muggler took third and fourth place respectively, earning six and four points.

The men’s team also had outstanding performances in track events. In the 500-meter dash, Phil Gomez ’17 finished in fourth place. In the 3000-meter run, Connor Clark ’17 ran an 8:15.87 to take sixth place overall, contributing one point to the Big Green. In the 1000-meter run, Henry Raymond ’20 and Reed Horton ’19 finished in third and fifth with respective times of 2:25.10 and 2:25.47. In the mile run, Patrick Gregory ’18 finished fourth with a 4:13.19, earning four points. In the 5000-meter run, Kyle Dotterer ’18 finished in third with a 14:19.25. In the 60-meter hurdles, Parker Johnson ’19 secured sixth in the finals by finishing in 8.19 seconds, earning one point. In the 4x800 meter relay, Trevor Colby ’19, Horton, Raymond and Gregory finished with a 7:35.51, earning six points. The Big Green distance medley team of Dominic Carrese ’19, Johnson, Miles Irish ’18 and Michael Thurston ’20 finished with a 10:00.34 time, placing fifth.

Next year, Harwick looks to improve upon the team’s third-place finish. While Princeton University surged ahead to win its fifth straight title with 135 points, Harwick noted that surpassing second-place Cornell University was within reach.

“This year, Princeton won with a pretty hefty total, but Cornell was in second at 101,” Harwick said. “They were only 19 points ahead of us there. I think we’ve made a lot of strides in closing the gap on Cornell, and I like to think we will continue doing so.”

While Cosculluela shared a similar optimism for the future of the team, he also cautioned that the team may experience a down year due to the loss of senior jumpers. At Heps, the senior jumpers scored 20 of the 82 points.

With the conclusion of Heps, the team prepares to move into the outdoor season for the spring, hoping to build upon the momentum established during the indoor season.

“Our coach put it best: you shouldn’t be happy with where you’re at,” Conscuelluela said. “For most people, there is still improvement to be made, so going into the outdoor season, we stand a pretty good chance of doing better.”

On the women’s side, Rothwell was the star for the women’s team, single-handedly scoring 24 of the team’s 62 points. She set a new Dartmouth record for the long jump with a 20-3.0 ft/6.17m jump and an all-time Ivy League record of 8.30s in the 60-meter hurdles. Additionally, Rothwell was fourth in the finals of the 60-meter run, earning four points. For her brilliant performance, Rothwell won the Most Outstanding Female Field Performer. Receiving accolades early in her undergraduate career, Rothwell has maintained an outlook of never staying satisfied.

“I always go out there with the mindset to set another personal best, so having however many records is never really satisfying to me, as selfish as that may seem,” Rothwell said. “I’m always wanting to get better and to set another record – not just a school record but an Ivy record, not just an Ivy record but beyond that. That’s what keeps me going – never being content.”

Women’s track and field head coach Sandy Ford-Centonze credited Rothwell’s maturity, confidence and willingness to learn as being integral to her success.

“She doesn’t have the mentality of a freshman,” Ford-Centonze said. “What I mean by that is she doesn’t have that naivete when it comes to preparing to compete, when it comes to going to a big meet ... She really and truly believes in herself and what she can do, and the main thing with that is she does trust and believe in her coaches, which makes it so easy to coach her. She’s a sponge – she just sucks everything up and puts it into action as soon as you tell her to do something.”

In the pole vault, Julia Valenti ’20 cleared 12-7.5 ft/3.85m on her first try, tying for third and earning five points for the Big Green. In the weight throw, Amelia Ali ’19 earned six points by securing third place with a 60-9.25 ft/18.52m throw.

In the pentathlon, Maria Garman ’19 and Miranda Lawson ’17 each picked up two and one points respectively, as Garman was fifth and Lawson sixth. Shanthi Hiremath ’20 placed sixth in the triple jump with her final jump measuring 38-1.5 ft/11.62m.

In the track events, Helen Schlachtenhaufen ’17 won the mile run for the second year in the row, finishing with a time of 4:46.25. Claire Dougherty ’20 finished in sixth in the 500-meter final, running a 1:14.90. Both Schlachtenhaufen and Dougherty were part of the women’s distance medley relay with Aliyah Gallup ’17 and Eliza Dekker ’19, winning second place in the event. In the 800-meter run, Bridget Flynn ’18 took sixth with a time of 2:11.01. In the 200-meter final, Nicole Deblasio ’19 secured sixth with a time of 24.93s.

Harvard University won its fifth straight title with 125 points. Although the Big Green finished in sixth, the team remains optimistic about its future.

“Everyone felt okay; there’s just a lot of room for improvement,” Schlachtenhaufen said. “Part of that comes from having a really young team. We have a lot of talent, but we’re working toward seeing that at these bigger meets.”

The team looks to build upon its success in the upcoming outdoor season.

“We want to keep building on what we’ve done,” Rothwell said. “On top of that, just staying healthy, staying focused and knowing that we’ve got a whole other season left.”

According to Ford-Centonze, there is a large countdown clock at Leverone that details the number of days until outdoor Heps. The clock serves as a constant reminder of the limited amount of training time before the next outdoor Heps.

“The mindset is we really don’t have time to rest,” Ford-Centonze said. “There’s not a lot of time you can take off.”

Evan Morgan contributed reporting.