Track prepares for UAA championship

The Carnegie Mellon men’s and women’s track and field team had three very successful meets during the past week, starting off strong with a win at home and then going to the Bucknell Outdoor Classic and Slippery Rock Invitational. While the latter two events were not scored, the Tartans used these opportunities to fine tune their abilities, pushing themselves to maximize their potential as the University Athletic Association Division III Championship draws near.

On Tuesday, the Carnegie Mellon Invitational provided beautiful weather for the Tartans, Waynesburg (Pa.) College, and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ), setting the stage for impressive performances by the athletes.

The Tartan men, led by junior Geoff Misek, dominated the 1500-meter event, sweeping the first 11 spots. Misek became the first Tartan to break four minutes in the 1500-meters this season with a personal record time of 3:59:25. Sophomore Drew Miller and first-year Mike Haley placed second and third, setting personal record times of 4:01.51 and 4:03.33, respectively.

The home meet turned out to be an event full of personal records, as junior Davey Quinn won the 800-meter run with a personal best of 1:54.41, setting the third-fastest time in Tartan track history. Coming in second was junior Keith Torluemke, who finished the race in 1:55.83, improving on his previous best performance. The Tartans continued to secure four more first-place finishes with junior Nick Bannister winning both the 100-meter high hurdles and the 400-meter hurdles. First-year Colin Marks collected his own win with a 13.42-meter leap in the triple jump, and senior Tom Matta won the hammer with a throw of 49 meters.

Overall, the Tartan men closed out the win over Waynesburg with a team score of 87 points, to Waynesburg’s 75 points.

While the men handily secured their win at home, the women did not disappoint, scoring 123 points overall, defeating Waynesburg (89 points) and UPJ (70 points).

“Everyone’s hard work throughout the season is starting to pay off,” said senior Jocelyn Sikora as the Tartan women were able to collect a total of three first-place finishes. Sikora won the 800-meter race with a time of 2:20.65. First-year Jessica Meng won the triple jump with jump of 10.86 meters. Meng went on to add a second-place finish in the high jump with an impressive 1.55-meter leap.

The final first-place finish was claimed by Carnegie Mellon’s 4x400-meter relay “A” team, consisting of first-year Jackie Andreozzi, sophomore Ashley Bakelmun, junior Amber Fuller, and Sikora. They finished the relay with a time of 4:12.58.

The women had a sizeable number of second-place performances, including personal best times for Andreozzi in the 400-meters (1:02.25) and first-year Carolyn Clayton in the 1500-meter run (5:16.82). The other second-place winners were junior Lizza McGregor in the discus (34.12 meters) and junior Becky Metler, who came in second in both the shot put and the hammer throw, with 11.48 meters and 40.85 meters, respectively.

Following their win at home, the Tartans split up as the majority of the long-distance runners traveled to Bucknell on Friday.

At Bucknell, against tough competition, the Tartan men had solid runs in the 1500-meter event, where four Tartans finished in the top 35. The top performer was first-year Brian Harvey, who finished 26th, just under four minutes with a time of 3:59.69. Senior Nick End was the only Tartan to take on the grueling 5000-meter run, finishing the race also at 26th with a time of 14:52.78. First-year Ryan Anderson finished 12th in the 3000-meter steeplechase event (9:43.10).

The team saw Sikora finish 23rd overall in the 1500-meter run with a time of 4:48.18. The only other Tartan woman who placed was senior KJ Helmstetter in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 11:51.30.

During Carnival, the track and field teams will be in Cleveland competing in the UAA Championship. “With our improved health and hard work these past few weeks, we hope to improve from our indoor performance,” Sikora said when asked for predictions about the championship meet. “There is a potential for many more individual and relay champions as well as medal performances.”