Track and field challenges skills at invitational meet in Boston

| 2/3/16 6:18pm
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Tiffany Zhai/The Dartmouth Senior Staff

The men’s and women’s track and field teams took a break from team competition to chase strong individual performances at the Boston University Terrier Classic at the BU Track and Tennis Center in Boston this past weekend. Both the men and the women took advantage of an atmosphere conducive to fast racing to notch some new personal and season bests. The women traveled down to Boston to compete last Friday, Jan. 29, while the men competed separately on Saturday, Jan. 30.

“The [BU] Terrier Classic is a meet that all the guys really look forward to, especially the distance runners, since it’s a national class meet in a great facility,” men’s head coach Barry Harwick ’77 said. “I think it gets people really fired up to run well.”

Joey Chapin ’16 and Curtis King ’16 turned in strong performances in the 3000-meter. Chapin placed fourth in the national-caliber field with a new personal best of 7:57.12, while King finished shortly behind in 8:00.53 to place seventh. Chapin’s performance places him fourth all-time in Dartmouth track and field history in the event, according to Harwick.

Chapin credited the strong pace and the race atmosphere as reasons for his strong performance.

“We were lucky enough to have a good pacer and a really strong heat to keep the race moving through the first 2K so we could just get pulled along for the most part,” Chapin said. “We ended up both closing our last 1000 [meters] really strong, playing exactly to the race plan, and leaving us with a little confidence for the latter half of the season when races get a little more tactical and we’ll have to be able to close really hard to place how we want to at [Ivy League] Heps.”

The men’s distance runners also had strong performances in the mile, where Pat Gregory ’18 placed 17th in a new personal best of 4:05.51. In the 5000-meter, Brian Masterson ’16 and Nat Adams ’17 finished ninth and tenth in nearly identical times of 14:13.44 and 14:13.56.

In the other track events, Amos Cariati ’18 had a strong performance in the 500-meter, crossing in 1:04.29 to place seventh, while Reed Horton ’19 finished 10th in the 1000-meter with a time of 2:27.73. The lone athlete for the Big Green men competing in the field events was Max Cosculluela ’17, who placed third in the pole vault, clearing a height of 16-0.75/4.90-meter.

On the women’s side, Kaitlin Whitehorn ’16 placed second in the high jump, clearing 5-7.0/1.70m. Kaitlin McCallum ’16 also performed well in the field, placing fourth in the pole vault, clearing 12-5.5/3.80m.

Despite her strong performance, Whitehorn said she felt somewhat disappointed with the result. She mentioned that she is making modifications to her jumping approach.

“I placed second, but I didn’t jump well for myself,” Whitehorn said. “I am still figuring out how to run a new approach with 10 steps instead of 8.”

On the track, Jennifer Meech ’16 performed well in both the 200-meter (eighth, 24.40) and the 400-meter (ninth, 54.89). In the 800-meter, Bridget O’Neill ’18 placed tenth at 2:09.83 and Abby Livingston ’18 placed 12th in 2:10.17.

“My goal this weekend was to just see what I could do at this point in the season,” O’Neill said. “BU is a great track, so it was a good opportunity for the team to run fast! I was pretty pleased with how it went, and I’m excited for my next meet, which will be back at BU for the Valentine [Invitational].”

The coaching staff was pleased with how the meet went.

“Everyone went in and ran faster than we expected,” women’s head coach Sandy Ford-Centonze said. “We were really happy with the women’s 800 — they both set new personal bests in their events — and Jen Meech also ran a great double [in the 200 and 400].”

While many of the track and field athletes competed at the Terrier Classic, the team also sent a group of throwers to compete at the University of New Hampshire. Notable performances for the throwers included strong performances from Lucas Ribeiro ’19, who won the shot put, throwing 16.32m, as well as from Colin Minor ’18, second in the shot put (15.04m) and third in the weight throw (16.66m). Tim Brennan ’17 also did well, finishing in second in the weight throw (17.15m).

Many of the jumpers and throwers will return to action next weekend at Leverone Field House for the Dartmouth Indoor Classic. Harwick noted that many of the distance runners who did not compete at the Terrier Invitational would race next weekend as well.

Many of the athletes that competed at the Terrier Invitational will train through this weekend and return to action in two weeks at the Valentine Invitational, also at BU. The Dartmouth Indoor Classic kicks off next Saturday, Feb. 6 at 12 p.m. in Leverone.