Fiftieth annual Dartmouth Relays held at Leverone field house

by Osezele Okoruwa | 1/14/19 2:05am

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Dartmouth track and field athletes competed in a variety of events at the Dartmouth Relays this weekend.

by Michael Lin / The Dartmouth

This past weekend, Leverone field house played host to the 50th annual Dartmouth Relays, a track and field meet featuring high schoolers, college athletes and professional competitors. Dartmouth women’s track and field coach Sandy Ford-Centonze described the meet as a major event in the team’s season.

“The meet has a sort of electricity in the air,” Ford-Centonze said. “My ears are buzzing on the drive home.”

The atmosphere of an event with such a rich history sets it apart from all others on the track schedule. Men’s track and field coach Barry Harwick ’77 recalled a story from when he participated in the event as a student.

“I had run an event on the first day of the competition,” Harwick said. “When I went over to Leverone to cheer on my teammates the next day, my coach said, ‘Barry, it’d be a good idea for you to jump in the mile run today.’… I didn’t realize that the guys up front were trying to break four minutes for the mile … I ran with the lead pack for the first half of the race and then got completely trashed for the rest of it. I actually watched the finish from the other side of the track. It was fun to be in a race that fast but embarrassing to lose that badly.”

Current athletes also feel the importance of the moment as well. When asked about what the race means to her, Lily Lockhart ’21 noted the significance of the moment.

“Even though I’m a bit disappointed by my performance in weight [throw], I feel like a part of history by competing in the 50th Dartmouth Relays,” Lockhart said.

Donovan Spearman ’21, who notched the second-fastest time in the 60-meter dash in Dartmouth’s history last year , made great use of this opportunity by nearly matching his personal record with his time of 6.84 seconds this weekend.

“It’s really good to be running at the 50th Dartmouth Relays,” Spearman said. “It is a really big moment, and everyone knows about how big of an opportunity this is.”

Other top three performers include Amelia Ali ’19, Abigail Brazil ’21, Brooke Brunet ’21, Anna Clark ’19, Annalisa Crowe ’20, Zoe Dainton ’22, Nicole DeBlasio ’19, Eliza Dekker ’19, Rachel Donner ’22, Claire Dougherty ’20, Gabriela Fasanelli ’22, Nick Feffer ’21, Max Frye ’21, Maria Garman ’19, Kayla Gilding ’19, Arianna Gragg ’22, Shanthi Hiremath ’20, Myles Holt ’20, Alexa Jennings ’19, Parker Johnson ’19, Anoush Krafian ’22, Alexander Kushen ’19, Camille Landon ’21, Kathryn Laskoski ’21, Lockhart, Rachel Ludwikowski ’21, Danielle Okonta ’20, Benjamin Ose ’19, Mary Rittler ’22, Jacqueline Perron-Smith ’19, Marco Pompilj ’19, Ahria Simons ’22, Michael Thurston ’20, Margaret Tuthill ’19, Julia Valenti ’20, Charlie Wade ’22, Caroline Walter ’21 and Elizabeth Wilson ’22.

Beyond serving as a proving ground for current athletes, the Relays brought back several recent alumni as competitors.

“It’s great to see old faces again,” said Nico Robinson ’17, a competitor in pole vault and shotput. “The people we mentored are now mentoring the newer members of the team.”

In addition to the recent alumni returning, the anniversary has also brought some big names to Dartmouth including: Olympic coach and former head coach Vin Lananna; Gerry Asheworth ’63, an Olympic gold medalist in the 4x100m relay; and Aries Merritt, an Olympic gold medalist and world record holder in the 110-meter hurdles.

“It is very cool to see Olympians come and speak with us,” Ali said. “It’s special to see them up close. They are at the level that we aspire to be. It is what we dream about. This is why I love doing this sport: to be at that level — to achieve that.”