The men’s and women’s track teams continued their outstanding seasons this past weekend at home in the Deneault Invitational with performances that catapulted each team into the national spotlight.
After dominating Ivy League and ECAC opponents all year, placing highly in large national meets, and qualifying numerous athletes for next week’s Heps Championship, both teams earned spots on the national track power rankings. Currently, the women hold the No. 18 spot and the men No. 24.
For both teams, this past weekend served as a boost in morale, due largely to overall team performance and individual personal bests.
Speaking of his team, women’s head coach Lou Duesing said, “We saw an awful lot of great stuff at this meet, and most people are way ahead of where they were last year.” He continued, “Everyone feels really positive right now.”
Junior Jason Hart also spoke optimistically about his team, saying, “Our team is better and deeper than ever before, and we’re all really confident right now about our performances and outlook for Heps.”
Among all of the top finishes at this past weekend’s meet, several members of the women’s team stood out.
Junior Kalifa Pilgrim was named the female athlete of the meet for recording a personal best in the long jump (5.85m) and winning the triple jump (11.95m), which were both ECAC qualifiers. Sophomore Alison Koplar improved her personal best in the 1,000m by a solid two seconds, coming in second at 2:55.59. Finally, sophomore Kari Steed and senior Sarah Herskee both took home two first place finishes in the sprints and throws, respectively. Steed won the 60m in 7.94s and the 200m in 25.67s. Herskee captured first and qualified for ECACs in the weight throw (16.35m) and won the shot put with a toss of 13.44m.
Other championships efforts for the Red women came from senior captain Katy Jay, who led a 1-2-3 sweep of the 500m race with an ECAC qualifying time of 1:15.84; junior Merili Mosely, who took first in the 60m hurdles (9.03); and sophomore Carrie Richards, who led the team to another sweep in her event, winning the mile in 5:03.14.
The men also had a big day, qualifying eight members of the team for IC4As and winning six events. Junior Tyler Kaune highlighted during his win in the long jump, in which he set a new personal record of 24’04”.25. Teammate Hart followed closely behind, placing second in the event with his leap of 23’03”.25. Currently, Kaune and Hart sit first and second, respectively, atop the Heps rankings in the long jump.
Additional winners included junior Giles Longley-Cook, who won the weight throw with his IC4A qualifying toss of 59’02”.25; senior Derek Kingrey, who won and qualified for IC4As with his shot put of 55’11”.0; Adam Farrel, who won the high jump (6-05); Greg Simonds, who won the 500m (1:06.16); and Sam MacKenzie in the 800m, who won with his time of 1:55.89.
Considering that many athletes from both teams sat out this meet or competed in off-events to rest for the upcoming Heps championships, athletes and coaches for both the men’s and women’s teams are extremely pleased with the results and confident that their success will continue next weekend at the Heps Championships in Hanover, N.H.
Archived article by Everett Hullverson