Track and field competes for NCAA regionals bids

| 5/19/15 6:01pm

The month between the Ivy League Heptagonal Championship and the beginning of the NCAA Championships provides the track and field teams with one final chance to chase qualifying performances for the NCAA regional meet over the last week of May. The men’s and women’s teams took advantage of this opportunity this past weekend, sending athletes to both the ECAC/IC4A Championships in Princeton, New Jersey, and the New Balance Twilight Meet in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Both teams sent small contingents of throwers and sprinters to Princeton. Highlighting the men’s performances was Saturday’s fifth-place finish in the hammer throw by Colin Minor ’18, who threw 199-7.0/60.83m. Competing alongside Minor and the pool of 34 athletes in the hammer were Timothy Brennan ’17 and Dom Filiano ’14, who finished back-to-back and 26th and 27th, respectively. Filiano also faced tough competition in the discus, in which he finished 25th of 29 competitors. Minor’s finish gave the Big Green men its only for points thus far in the meet.

“The goal going in was to try and qualify for NCAA Regionals,” Minor said. “You have to be in the top 48 in the region, and I threw a personal best and I was happy with that, but it didn’t get me into the 48th spot.”

If people who placed ahead of Minor drop out, he may still have a chance to qualify for NCAA Regionals and will find out by Thursday, he said.

Tony Anzivino ’16 had a strong showing in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase on Friday night, taking 12th among the 23 racers. The Big Green’s only representatives at the IC4A Championship on Sunday were Max Cosculluela ’17 and Corey Muggler ’17. Muggler walked away with 17th among 24 competitors in the triple jump, and Cosculluela finished tied as the 12th and final athlete to receive a score in the pole vault, although nine vaulters received no-height finishes

Coming off the team’s seventh-place finish at Heps just over a week ago, the small squad of Big Green women received a slate of strong performances at ECAC competition in Princeton. Moriah Morton ’17 and Bridget Douglas ’18 competed in the javelin to finish 12th and 16th among the pool of 25, respectively. Marissa Evans ’18 placed 16th in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:01.78.

On the final day, Molly Shapiro ’16 was the only Dartmouth woman to compete, and she finished the meet for the Big Green by taking 13th in the triple jump with a 38-8.25/11.79m leap.

The Big Green also received strong performances from their distance runners at the New Balance Twilight Meet at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. On the women’s side, Bridget Flynn ’18, Abby Livingston ’18, Abby Markowitz ’16 and Jennie Cunningham ’17 competed in the 800-meter race with respective finishes in fourth, seventh, ninth and 15th. In the 5,000-meter run, Erin McConnell ’17 placed third, and the women took first in the 4x400-meter relay.

In the 1,500-meter, Helen Schlachtenhaufen ’17 and Liz Markowitz ’16 finished just over two-tenths of a second apart for eighth and ninth respective finishes. The race was won by former Big Green star and now-professional runner Abbey D’Agostino ’14. Also in the race was fellow alumnae-turned-professional-runner Megan Krumpoch ’14.

“My goal going in to this meet was to run a [personal record] in the [1,500-meter race] and qualify for our upcoming East Regional meet,” Liz Markowitz said. “I crossed the finish line a second off my [personal record]. It wasn’t the result I was hoping for, but I had a lot of fun racing with [Schlactenhaufen] and my former teammates Abbey D’Agostino and Megan Krumpoch.”

The men’s team also received many strong performances at the New Balance Twilight Meet. In the 800-meter, Will Callan ’15 and Kevin Stanko ’16 placed sixth and seventh, respectively. Also competing were Joe Carey ’15, Josh Kerber ’18 and Josh Kotran ’18 (2:00.25).

In the men’s 1,500-meter, Silas Talbot ’15 led the way with a fourth-place finish in 3:45.02. Pat Gregory ’18, Julian Heninger ’17 and Connor Clark ’17 all placed in the top 20 of more than 60 racers.

“It was an ultimatum kind of race — if I raced well, I’d move onto regionals, but if I ran poorly, my season would probably be over,” Talbot said. “I definitely wanted to go out with a bang, and I think I did that. I ran a [personal record] in my final meet and hopefully qualified for regionals, which were both goals going into the season.”

Given the nature of the Twilight Meet, some professional runners were able to enter the race at the last meet. This change meant that the start lists for each heat of the 1,500-meter race were decided five minutes before the start gun went off, Talbot said. Fortunately for Talbot, his heat still had a pacesetter entered in the race to make sure that the race would be fast enough from the gun.

Rounding out the competition for the Big Green was a 5-6-7 finish by Daniel Salas ’17, Kyle Dotterrer ’18 and Peter Geithner ’16 in the men’s 5,000-meter run.

This Thursday, the team will find out which athletes have qualified for the NCAA Regional Championships, which will be held in Jacksonville, Florida, on May 28 to 30. For those who do not qualify, most will take some time to rest before resuming training in the summer.

Some, however, will continue their seasons regardless of whether they qualify for regionals. Minor said that he will continue to train for the USA Track and Field Junior Outdoor National Championships in Eugene, Oregon, at the end of June, where he hopes to perform well enough to qualify to represent the United States at the Pan-American Games, to be held in Toronto in late July.

Either way, the last few weeks of spring term will be a change of pace from the rest of the outdoor season, as athletes either rest or look to perform in their best shape at the regional and national championships.