Track and field competes in Ivy Heps, New England championships

by Gretta Pickett | 5/13/19 2:15am


Cha'Mia Rothwell won the 100m hurdles at Heps to qualify for the NCAA Eastern Regionals later this month.

Source: Doug Austin/Courtesy of the Dartmouth Athletics Department

After months of competing indoors and outdoors, the Big Green track and field team is finally wrapping up its outdoor season. Last week, the team traveled to Princeton University to compete in the 2019 Ivy League Outdoor Heptagonal Championship where the men’s team took fifth and the women’s team took seventh. This past weekend, the team competed at the New England Championship, with the women taking first place and the men finishing in fifth. 

Despite challenging conditions, several individuals recorded impressive performances at the Ivy League Heps. Of these, five took first place titles, including Ben Ose ’19 in the decathlon, Cha’Mia Rothwell ’20 in the 100m hurdles, Julia Valenti ’20 in the pole vault, Henry Raymond ’20 in the 1500m and Max Frye ’21 in the 400m hurdles.

Standout Donovan Spearman ’21 set Dartmouth’s 200m all-time record with a time of 21.11 after breaking the record three weeks ago with a 21.14 run.

Rothwell’s win marked her eighth Heptagonal championship title after previously winning five hurdles titles and two long jump titles. Her win is especially impressive given that much of her early season was spent recovering from an injury. Back in November, Rothwell fell while attempting a hurdling drill, breaking her hand. Her recovery involved surgery, a metal plate in her hand and several weeks with pins sticking out of her injured extremity.

However, Rothwell said she was determined to maintain her fitness. She was unable to do much of her usual lifting routine but found a way to adjust it with “explosive plyos” and other substitute exercises.

“It’s been one of those seasons where there are lots of ebbs and flows and uncertainties here and there but definitely some positives coming out of it too,” Rothwell said.

Rothwell said that she felt more pressure than she had in previous years leading up to outdoor Heps, citing her previous success in the event as the cause of some of this pressure. Rothwell added that the weather and not having ran her “best time” in the prelims contributed to her nerves before the 100m hurdle finals. She said she “knew [she] really had to dig down and execute to a T,” and execute to a T she did. Rothwell pulled away over the last few hurdles, accelerating through the finish and claiming the victory.

With her victory, Rothwell has qualified for the 100m hurdles in the upcoming NCAA Eastern Regionals, which takes place May 23-25.

Frye’s win in the 400m hurdles was his first championship title after he took second place in the event last year. After running several 500m races during the indoor season in preparation for the 400m hurdles, Frye said he was excited to see how his training would affect his 400m hurdle time. Despite struggling with a back injury over the spring, Frye found that running the 500m put him in a good spot going into the outdoor season. His times steadily improved over the course of March and April.

The weekend before outdoor Heps, Frye was ready to go with a plan in mind. Some people like to save a little bit of energy during prelims if they know they are going to qualify for finals, but Frye disagreed with this strategy. Going into the race, Frye’s goal was to put in a maximum effort.

“I mean, the difference between running 95 percent and 100 percent isn’t that much, so I’d rather just go all out.” Frye said. “I think the confidence that I get from doing well exceeds any tiredness from running all out on day one.” 

Looking forward, Frye is seeded No. 28 for Eastern Regionals. He hopes to potentially move up into the top 12 which would qualify him for NCAA Outdoor Championships. 

The Big Green also saw strong performances from Cole Andrus ’20, who took second in the javelin, Parker Johnson ’19, who took fourth in the 110m hurdles and Olivia Wiener ’19, who took fourth in the javelin. Abby Burke ’22 took fourth in the high jump and Maria Garman ’19 took fourth in the heptathlon.

Rothwell, Frye and women’s head coach Sandy Ford-Centonze all remarked on the weather at the event. Wind, rain and cold temperatures made for less-than-ideal conditions on day two of the meet, but the Big Green were sufficiently prepared to compete in the inclement weather.

“One thing that we try to get across to everybody is that, yes, this is something we don’t like to compete in, but at the same time, everybody has the same circumstances,” Ford-Centonze said, “You know, it’s raining in everybody’s lane. If the wind is blowing in lane one, its blowing in lane two and lane three. And I think that honestly, because we’ve had [bad weather] a lot during the season, people handled it well.”

Ford-Centonze also remarked on Valenti’s win in the pole vault as very exciting for the Dartmouth team, as Valenti’s win marks her third Heps title in the event and the first time in 18 years that a woman from Dartmouth has won the outdoor pole vault.

For many athletes on the Dartmouth track and field team, outdoor Heps marked the end of their track seasons. However, several athletes went on to compete at the New England Championships this past weekend in hopes of qualifying for regionals. Despite not sending full teams, the team did remarkably well, with the women taking the overall team win, and the men placing fifth.

Shawn Ohazuruike ’20 and Alec Eschholz ’19 placed second in the 110m hurdles and 400m hurdles, respectively. Marco Pompilj ’19 won the 3000m steeplechase and Caroline Walter ’21 set a personal record in the 400m, winning the event with a time of 55.94. Claire Dougherty ’20 took second in the 800m as did Breanna Glover ’22 in the 1500m. Valenti and Brooke Brunet put the cherry on top, going one-two in the pole vault.