Track and field sets records, sweeps podiums as it gears up for Heps

| 2/17/16 6:30pm

In its final tune up before the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, the track and field team received strong individual performances at the Boston University Valentine Invitational and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Gordon Kelly Invitational this past weekend. The Valentine Invitational took place on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 12 to 13, at the BU Track and Tennis Center in Boston, while the Gordon Kelly Invitational took place on Saturday at the Johnson Athletic Center at MIT.

Both the athletes and the coaching staff were pleased with how the meet went.

“Since this is the last competition before the [Ivy League] Heps, we as coaches wanted the last memory before the Heps to be a positive one,” men’s head coach Barry Harwick ’77 said. “When I talked to the team on Thursday, the word I emphasized was ‘opportunity.’ They certainly took advantage of it.”

Indeed, both the men’s and women’s teams gave stellar performances with many athletes recording new personal bests. Highlighting the action on the men’s side was a fifth-place finish in the men’s mile by Joey Chapin ’16, who completed the distance in 4 minutes and 0.27 seconds, just missing breaking the coveted 4-minute barrier. Chapin’s time is the third fastest mile in Dartmouth history.

“My goal going in was definitely first and foremost to break 4 minutes,” Chapin said. “Realistically, this was my best chance to do it as everyone is trying to run fast at this meet. There were a couple of things that went wrong with the race, but if I had run it a little better tactically, I think I could have dipped.”

Nonetheless, Chapin was very pleased with the race.

“Finishing so close to breaking four flat is always frustrating, but I still came away with a full two-second PR and cannot be too upset with how the race went,” Chapin said.

Amos Cariati ’18 also performed well, taking fourth in the 500-meter with a final time of 1:03.98. According to Harwick, this was the first time Cariati broke 1:04 in the distance. Jules Hislop ’17 was 28th in the same event, at 1:06.90.

In the other track events, Dominic Carrese ’19 placed 20th in the 1000 (2:29.76), Brian Masterson ’16 placed 20th in the 3000 (8:13.63) and Mike Schlichting ’18 placed 21st in the 5000 (14:45.81).

The Big Green also received strong performances at the MIT Gordon Kelly Invitational. The men swept the first four places in the 60-meter hurdles, with Alex Frye ’17 (8.28), Alec Eschholz ’19 (8.38), Parker Johnson ’19 (8.40) and Nico Robinson ’17 (8.57) finishing in the top. Three other Big Green hurdlers finished under 9.00, giving Dartmouth seven of the nine top finishers.

The men also swept the first three places in the pole vault, with Max Cosculluela ’17 (4.85 meters), Robinson (4.85) and Benjamin Ose ’19 (4.70) dominating the competition and placing first, second and third, respectively. Cosculluela and Robinson were separated because Cosculluela took fewer attempts to clear 4.85. Colin Minor ’18 and Tim Brennan ’17 finished first and second in the men’s weight throw, with throws of 18.02 meters and 16.21, respectively.

Also winning their respective events were Victor Williams ’16 in the 60-meter dash in 7.12 and Corey Muggler ’17 in the triple jump (14.92 meters).

The women also received strong performances at the Valentine Invitational, highlighted by a school record and sixth-place finish by Jen Meech ’16 in the 400. She completed the distance in 53.97, which topped Catherine Brew ’87’s old record of 54.45. Meech also finished 13th in the 200 with a 24.35.

“[The women’s 400] record has been around for over 30 years,” women’s head coach Sandy Ford-Centonze said. “It was exciting to see [it fall].”

Also with a strong performance on the women’s side was Bridget O’Neill ’18, who placed second in the 1000 in 2:47.74. O’Neill was ecstatic over her race.

“I was just hoping to run fast this past weekend and maybe get a [personal record],” O’Neill said. “There were a lot of fast girls in my heat, but I was able to hang on and run pretty well!”

In the 500, Aliyah Gallup ’17 placed fourth in 1:14.43 and Marissa Evans ’18 was eighth in 1:14.92. Abby Feeney ’17 placed 16th in the 60 hurdles in 8.95. In the mile, Helen Schlachtenhaufen ’17 was 27th in 4:52.66 and Grace Thompson ’19 won her section in 4:54.28, though the time put Thompson 30th overall.

At MIT, the women performed well, taking the first four spots in the 60 and the 200, the first three in the long jump and the first two in the high jump and pole vault. In the 60, Kaitlin Whitehorn ’16 (7.76), Nicole DeBlasio ’19 (7.89), Anna Kikut ’16 (7.96), and Colleen McManus ’18 (8.07) took the first four spots; DeBlasio (25.76), Kikut (25.81), Molly Shapiro ’16 (26.32) and McManus (26.93) took the first four in the 200; in the long jump, Kayla Gilding ’19 (5.39 meters), Allison Frantz ’18 (5.21) and Shapiro (5.20) finished 1-2-3; Whitehorn (1.72) and Maria Garman ’19 (1.69) took first and second in the high jump; and in the pole vault, Kaitlin McCallum ’16 (3.70) and Stephanie Brown ’16 (3.55) continued their 1-2 punch, finishing first and second there as well.

Riding off the plethora of strong performances this past weekend, the teams will look to begin tapering and make final tweaks to their execution before Heps, which will take place from Feb. 27 to 28 at Cornell University.

“Next week, I’ll sit down with each athlete and talk to the race they’re going to run at Heps, the last race that they ran, and some things that I saw and they can see on film,” Ford-Centonze said. “Other than that, [we’ll] just try to get them excited and ready to drive up to Cornell to compete.”

Harwick echoed similar sentiments about final preparations before Heps.

“This week coming up will be a hard training week for us,” Harwick said. “Once we get to the week of the Heps themselves, we’ll tell them to try to get ahead on their schoolwork and get a lot of rest.”