Track teams continue early season success

| 1/22/15 5:32pm

The Dartmouth men’s and women’s track and field teams continued their stellar winter seasons with strong team victories against the University of Maine, the University of Vermont and Colgate University on Saturday, Jan. 17, at the Leverone Field House. This marked the second victory in two weeks for both teams.

The quad meet presented a strong contrast from the excitement of the previous week’s Dartmouth Relays, also in Hanover.

“While the Dartmouth Relays is a large meet with a lot of teams and a huge crowd, this meet was a much quieter, more laid back atmosphere,” men’s head coach Barry Harwick said. “Our goal was to win the meet and to make sure that each athlete was making individual progress in their event.”

Both teams received strong performances from many athletes, featuring several individual winners. On the men’s side, five runners brought home wins, including Phil Gomez ’17 (500m, 1:05.38), Alex Frye ’17 (60m Hurdles, 8.36), Daniel Salas ’17 (3000m, 8:31.05), Adam Couitt ’18 (200m, 22.70) and Joe Carey ’15 (1000m, 2:33.46). Two other first place finishes came from Dom Filiano ’14 (shot put, 52-10.25/16.11m) and Corey Muggler ’17 (triple jump, 46-11.50/14.31m).

The women’s side benefited from 10 individual winners. Erica Hendershot ’15 (500m, 1:17.19), Jennifer Meech ’16 (200m, 25.27), Marissa Evans ’18 (400m, 57.04), Meghan Grela ’17 (800m, 2:18.31), Reid Watson ’16 (mile, 4:55.17), Abby Markowitz ’16 (1000m, 2:59.51), Sarah Bennett ’16 (3000m, 9:57.58) and Molly Shapiro ’16 (triple jump, 38-9.75/11.83m) each earned a win for the Big Green. Kaitlin Whitehorn ’16 added two victories of her own as well in the 60m (7.65) and high jump (5-8.75/1.75m).

The coaches for both teams said they were pleased with how the meet progressed.

“The meet went very smoothly, and I was very happy to see that we won a ton of events,” Harwick said. “It’s a very young season, but some of the athletes made great strides in their individual events.”

Women’s head coach Sandy Ford-Centonze echoed similar sentiments.

“I was pleased with how it went,” she said. “I think there are areas that we can improve on, and I think we saw some of those things, including how people attack certain areas of their events.”

Many of the athletes attributed their successes to their teammates.

“We have a number of 500m runners this year,” Gomez, who won the 500m and anchored the second-place 4x400m relay team, said. “We push each other in our training, which is surely being exemplified in competition.”

Shapiro, who won the triple jump, said she was happy to compete in Hanover with her teammates.

“Compared to most of our meets, the quad meet is pretty small, but you can’t beat being able to compete at home,” she said.

After achieving a personal best in Saturday’s meet, she credited her performance to her teammates’ slow clap. “You get the rush of energy you need to pull out one last big jump,” she said.

The men’s team also featured strong performances from second and third finishes in the high jump from Jeremy Birck ’15 (6-6.75/2.0m) and Frye (6-4.75/1.95m). Also, Ben Colello ’18 placed second in the 400m (50.54) and 60m (8.57).

Whitehorn’s teammates followed closely, earning two second place finishes behind her victories. Allison Frantz ’18 took second in the high jump (5-7.00,1.7m) and Sara Kikut ’16 placed second in the 60m (7.93).

Overall, the men’s side took the top two places in the 60m, 500m and 3000m, the top three spots in the 60m hurdles and the 200m and the top-five places in the shot put. The women’s side took the top-four slots in every middle distance event, as well as the first five in the 200m and the top three in the 3000m.

The Big Green teams look to build on their success this weekend when they travel to Yale University for the Dartmouth-Yale-Columbia tri-meet on Saturday, Jan. 24, in New Haven, Connecticut.

“This is always a fun meet since we get an opportunity to compete against some teams in our league,” Ford-Centonze said. “The team gets pretty pumped up for this. We’re going in, putting our best foot forward and hope to come out on top.”

On Saturday, events are scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. at Yale.