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The Dartmouth
June 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Track and field teams finish in seventh place at Ivy League Heptagonal Championships

The Big Green won the men's distance medley relay at Heps for the first time since 2014.

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The men's and women's track teams competed at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships in New York City over the weekend.

This past weekend, Dartmouth’s track and field teams competed in the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships at The Armory Track in New York City, hosted by Columbia University. The men’s and women’s teams both finished in seventh place with 36 and 43 points, respectively. 

Heps is an opportunity for all of the Ivy League track and field teams to compete against each other at the conclusion of the indoor season. 

On Saturday, several Big Green women accumulated personal accomplishments. Lily Lockhart ’21, who has broken Dartmouth school records, took second place in her weight throw event. Several athletes also broke their own personal records. Anoush Krafian ’22 attained a new best in the 800m, placing second in her pentathlon. Emily Levonas ’24 has a new PR after her 11th place finish in the 3k race. With four new PRs and a lifetime best, Gabriela Fasanelli ’22 finished fifth in the pentathlon.

Dartmouth’s men’s team also racked up a few personal accolades on Saturday. Eric Gibson ’23 was able to advance to the final of the mile. Will Daley ’24 earned the Big Green points, placing sixth in the 3000m in a stacked field. With a new personal record, Drew Palermo ’22 placed fourth in his weight throwing event.

A number of Dartmouth athletes advanced to event finals. Julia Fenerty ’23 secured a spot in the finals by winning her heat in the 1000m. In the 60m dash, Joy Enaohwo ’25 advanced to the finals. Cori Hoffer ’24, with a new personal record, moved on to the 200m dash final. Ben Pable ’25 will compete in the weight throwing finals. Myles Epstein ’23 also advanced to the 200m final.

On Sunday, the Big Green men won the distance medley relay for the first time since 2014. Emma Cunningham ’23 turned in the second-best triple jump in program history and finished in fifth place. Other highlights included Enaohwo finishing in sixth place in the 60m dash, Hoffer finishing seventh in the women’s 200m dash, Ariana Gragg ’22 placing fourth in the women’s 800m and Madeline Locher ’25 placing fifth in the women’s 5000m. On the men’s team, Eric Gibson ’23 placed sixth in the mile, Myles Epstein ’23 placed seventh in the 200m dash and Karl-Oskar Pajus ’25, Connor Luck ’23 and Ryan Cashman ’22 placed second, fourth, and fifth respectively in the heptathlon 1000m run. 

“We are coming together as a full team,” men’s and women’s track and field and cross country head coach Porscha Dobson said. “Everyone is relying on each other based on the performances we have had this season, which will provide confidence and experience in moving forward [toward] a solid team effort.”

Team captain Thomas Lingard ’22 noted that despite track and field being an individual sport, the team comes together at Heps to push for a team victory. Both Dobson and Bridget McNally ’24 shared similar sentiments.

“We are all teaming up, knowing others’ PRs, rooting for people in their event while you're warming up or whatever,” McNally said. “You are a lot more invested in what people do than you normally would be.” 

This investment comes from a young team that has undergone various growing pains over the past two years. Due to COVID-19 cancellations, the track and field team did not have an indoor season last year and only competed in three non-scoring meets during the spring season. 

“Even though students may be third-years in the classroom, it's really their first year of competition in general at the college,” Dobson said. “They are kind of freshmen on the track and juniors and seniors in the classroom.” 

Although this adjustment may be physically and mentally difficult for members of the team, McNally noted that she and her teammates are just excited to be able to get back on the track. 

“It kind of just feels like we are getting back to normalcy and what I came here for, which is to get out there on the field where I am competitive and be able to show for the work that I’ve put in over the last two years and also throughout this term,” McNally said.

Despite suffering an injury and missing out on competition earlier in the season, Lingard agreed. 

“I think it is a gift to be able to do the sport that I love,” he said. 

The team’s coaching staff also largely lacks Dartmouth experience — half of the track and field coaches are new to the program, Dobson included. Dobson emphasized the importance of approaching competition “as a joint coaching and team effort.” Accordingly, she and her coaching staff celebrate the small wins: recovery from COVID-19, returning to practice, recovering from injuries and a first competition. As a result, Dobson says that the track and field athletes celebrate personal bests and breaking Dartmouth records.

“We are refraining from comparing ourselves to anyone else and really focusing on the team internally and what we can do in our accomplishments,” Dobson said.

As a smaller Ivy League school, Lingard notes that a consistent team goal is simply being a threat to a top spot. Dartmouth has frequently placed in the bottom half of Ivy competition, but the Big Green is looking to change that.

“We’re not necessarily going to be in that top spot, but I think if we put the pressure on the other teams to compete for that top spot, it will be pretty heavy,” Lingard said.

Regardless of Dartmouth’s final performance, the team has evolved during this season. They are looking forward to the spring season, moving outdoors once again. 

“At the end of the day, success breeds success, and we’re beginning to see that they are having fun, and that’s one of the most important things,” Dobson said.