Track and field dominates in only home meet of spring season

by Gretta Pickett | 4/15/19 2:15am

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In its lone home meet of the outdoor season, Dartmouth track and field saw some strong individual performances.

Source: Doug Austin/Courtesy of the Dartmouth Athletics Department

Gray skies and less-than-ideal temperatures did little to quell the Dartmouth track and field teams’ success in their first and only home meet of the outdoor season. The combined efforts of the Dartmouth women earned them first place overall with 235 points, nearly twice as many points as second-place University of Vermont. The Dartmouth men also secured first place with 181 points, a 27-point lead over Vermont.

Taking place on Friday, the Dartmouth Outdoor Invitational offered many athletes a chance to improve their marks and gain confidence going into the upcoming conference and regional meets.

One-two finishes seemed to be all the rage for the Dartmouth throwers, led by a pair of personal bests by Andrew Palermo ’22 and Myles Schreck ’22. Palermo took first place in the hammer throw with a mark of 55.18m, improving his record by nearly six meters. Schreck’s throw of 53.01m in the same event earned him second place behind Palermo. On the women’s side, Amelia Ali ’19 and Alex Collins ’19 also took first and second in the hammer throw, earning a total of 16 points for the women’s team. Lucas Ribeiro ’19 and Ethan Ruh ’20 did the same in men’s discus, as did Lily Lockhart ’21 and Rachel Donner ’22 in women’s. Donner and Lockhart reversed their finishing order in the shot put, earning first and second respectively. Maria Garman ’19 took first in the javelin.

Olivia Goodwin ’21 also ended the day with a handful of personal bests. They won the long jump with a leap of 5.63m and took third in the pole vault with mark of 3.85m. Two other Dartmouth women also jumped 3.85m, with the win going to Julia Valenti ’20 after a jump off.

The women’s high jump ended in a similar fashion with a jump off between Camille Landon ’21 and Zoe Dainton ’22. The pair both cleared 1.65m with the same number of attempts at previous bars; however, Landon won the jump off at 1.68m to take first place in the meet. The two commented on the nature of competing against a teammate and training partner.

“I think that even though we’re teammates, we’re still pretty competitive with each other,” Dainton said. “It’s a lot of fun competing with [Landon]... I want her to succeed just as much as I myself do.” 

Landon said that the jump off required “a different competitive mindset” because it gave her and Dainton a chance to take attempts at higher heights. 

“If I had cleared a bar, I also wanted [Dainton] to clear that bar so that we could continue the jump off,” she said. “I think if it were another situation, and I weren’t competing against my teammate, I might just prefer to clear a height that they didn’t clear.” 

Another champion was Greg Crowley ’21, who walked away from the meet feeling well after winning the men’s steeplechase in 9:22.60. Crowley’s time tied his personal best of two years and made him excited for the upcoming season. 

“Having not steeplechased in two years, I was pretty happy with how it went,” Crowley said. “Being able to tie my [personal record] for the first time running the event in two years was a really good start to the season. I know I can take off a lot of time and run much faster under better conditions.”

Breanna Glover ’22 led a pack of six Dartmouth women in the first heat of the 1500m to win in 4:34.74, a personal best. After the race, Glover commented on the transition from running the 1600m in high school (as most high schools across the country do) to running the 1500m in college. 

“This was my first 1500m of college because I’m a freshman, and this is the shortest race I’ve done since high school,” she said. “The 1600m was always my event, and there’s something really great about four laps because it’s really easy to break it up.”

Later in the day, Nicole DeBlasio ’19 added 18 points to the women’s team score with wins in the 100m and 200m races. Her contribution was one of many track events the women won as the team also raced to victory in the 400m, 800m, 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles. Caroline Walter ’21, Eliza Dekker ’19, Cha’Mia Rothwell ’20 and Danielle Okonta ’20 won those races respectively. Julien Hinz ’22 won the men’s 800m while Ryan Cashman ’22 and Shawn Ohazuruike ’20 took first in the men’s triple jump and 110m hurdles, respectively. 

Competing at home can be a different but welcoming experience, especially for the track and field team, which is used to travelling by bus or flying to meets on weekends. Assistant coach Tim Wunderlich described the experience.

“Sleeping in your own bed and being on your home facility and being really familiar with it helps people to relax, resulting in some really good performances,” he said.

However, some athletes said that competing at home made the meet seem almost too similar to practice. 

“It’s pretty nice to be able to come out of your house in the morning and walk straight over to the track for a meet, but also it’s kind of a tough mental thing to break through switching it onto meet mode rather than just practice mode,” Ruh said.

Ben Ose ’19, who won the long jump, offered a different perspective about competing at home.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “We don’t get a lot of opportunities to compete here at Dartmouth, so you have to cherish each one of them. It’s always fun to have some of our friends come support the track team.”

The Big Green is roughly three weeks away from the 2019 Ivy League Heptagonal Championships which will take place on May 4 and 5 at Princeton University. The New England Championships will occur the following weekend and several athletes hope to qualify for regional and national meets. 

Pickett is a former member of the Dartmouth track and field team.