Track excels at Irish Nationals

by James M> Hunnicutt | 7/1/96 5:00am

Several Dartmouth athletes crossed the Atlantic to make their college proud by giving first-class performances at two track meets held in Ireland and the United Kingdom over the last two weeks.

The Irish National Track and Field Championships, held in Dublin on June 15 and 16, invited Dartmouth and Brown University students to participate in its events.

On June 26, Dartmouth and Brown united to form an American team to face off against and beat an English team combining the best of Cambridge and Oxford Universities' track teams.

Men's Coach Barry Harwick said the track teams performed "extraordinarily well," especially considering "our regular season was over for quite some time."

Although Dartmouth's track athletes, being non-Irish citizens, were not permitted to win any awards for the competition, several actually performed better than the Irish runners who "won."

"They were guest competitors," Harwick explained. "They couldn't actually win. Only Irish citizens can do that."

Amy Winchester '96, who graduated three weeks ago as the College's all-time best shot-putter, achieved a distance of 47-1 3/4 in the shot and of 146-10 in the discus.

These two exemplary performances were the best of the women's shot put and discus throw at the meet, but Winchester was not actually able to receive the honor of winning the award for them.

Damon Blechen '98 also came out as a should-be-but-was-not-winner, taking the shot put in 51-5 3/4.

Lane Burks '97 placed third in both the long jump and the triple jump, with leaps of 23-1 1/4 and 48-6.

Steve Clark '97, who was the Heptagonal champion earlier this spring, won third in the high jump at 6-10 3/4.

While the Dartmouth and Brown teams were overseas, they also stopped off at Cambridge to defeat the Cambridge-Oxford teams. The Dartmouth-Brown men's team won 13 events to Cambridge-Oxford's six, and the American women blew out the British 15-2.

At the Cambridge-Oxford meet, Alex Ghanotakis '97 took first place in the hammer throw and the discus, setting a meet record in the discus event with a 171-6.

Burks again showed up the Europeans, this time setting another meet record by winning the triple jump at 50-0 3/4.

"They were the best jumps of his career," Harwick said. "We think he's favored to win the Heps next year."

In other events, Blechen won the shot put, Jack Dwyer '96 came in first place in the steeplechase and the Dartmouth-Brown team won the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.

Winchester again dominated the women's events, setting meet records in both the discus (155-0) and the shot put (47-9 1/4).

Kristin Manwaring '96, who was recently shut out of the U.S. Olympic trails by the slimmest of margins, set a meet record of 2:09.5 to win the 800 meters. Pilar Rodriguez '97 took first in the long jump at 17-6 1/2 and the Dartmouth-Brown relay teams won the 4x100 and 4x400 events.

Harwick also said the team members enjoyed both the meets and the chance to travel overseas.

"We did a lot of travelling ... we spent several days in London," he said. "I think the students enjoyed the meet a lot."

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