Track and field competes at Westminster

The men’s team impressed during the 100- and 400-meter hurdle events, taking third place in both.  (credit: Thomas Hofman/Photo Staff ) The men’s team impressed during the 100- and 400-meter hurdle events, taking third place in both. (credit: Thomas Hofman/Photo Staff )

The Carnegie Mellon men’s and women’s track and field teams challenged a variety of schools in the Westminster Invitational last Saturday, April 17. Despite the cold weather, the men placed second out of seven teams with 164.5 points, while the women placed fourth out of eight teams with 98 points.

The Tartan women scored first place in three events. The first of these came in the 800-meter run, when senior Diane Mattingly finished in 2:25.14, earning 10 points for the team. Mattingly was immediately followed by teammate junior Courtney Baker, who finished in second place with a time of 2:25.54. In the 100-meter dash, junior Kim Nederlof took third with a personal record of 13.47. In the 1500-meter run, junior Laura McKee took first with a time of 5:02.34, followed by first-year Emily Wobb, who snagged second in 5:04.37. Junior Danielle Morse was the sole representative of the Lady Tartans in the 5000-meter run, finishing in third with a time of 19:55.33, a new personal record.

In the hurdle events, the Tartans rose to the challenge of the competition when junior Morgan Faer grabbed third in the 100-meter hurdle, with a time of 17.15, while senior Crystal LeePow clinched third in the 400-meter hurdles in 1:10.93. On the field, sophomore Ivana Moses dominated for the Tartans once again, winning the triple jump and coming in third place in the long jump, with clearances of 10.20 meters and 4.88 meters, respectively. Junior Melissa Hwang also had a stellar performance, taking third in the triple jump and fifth in the long jump in 9.86 and 4.73 meters, respectively. In the javelin throw, first-year Carissa Iannone finished in fifth place, clearing 29.07 meters.

On the men’s side, the Tartans won a total of five events, but it was the depth of talent on the team that allowed them to come in second place overall. Junior Nate Bussiere won the 800-meter run in 1:55.12 and was followed shortly by teammates junior J.P. Allera and junior Jonathan Matusky, who came in third and fifth, respectively, with times of 2:03.22 and 2:06.70. In the 100-meter dash, first-year Noel Titus grabbed second with a personal best time of 11.28, while in the 400-meter dash, fellow first-year Ben Nealy claimed third with a time of 52.31. Junior Justin Kurp managed a second-place finish in the 1500-meter run, followed by first-year Evan Gates, who took third, with times of 4:10.13 and 4:11.33, respectively.

Perhaps the most exciting moment of the day was when sophomore Kyle Andrews, senior Chris Rizzo, and first-year Ben Finch took the top three places in the 5000-meter run, in 15:49.48, 15:50.65, and 16:11.44, respectively. Additionally, in the men’s 4x100-meter relay, the Tartans came out on top, winning the event in 44.31, with a team of first-year Titus, first-year John Caverhill, sophomore Ryan Kissell, and senior Chris Bridgman.
“I am very happy with the time I ran and the teamwork used to get it,” Andrews said. “[We paced] well together and orchestrally [swapped] the lead so that no one person took on the wind alone.”

On the field, the men continued to succeed when junior Pat O’Brien racked up two third-place finishes in the high jump and the triple jump, with distances of 1.75 meters and 12.84 meters, respectively. Bridgman continued to earn top points for the Tartans in the pole vault, with a height of 4.40 meters. In the long jump, Kissell took second by leaping 6.31 meters. Finally, senior James Hulley earned 20 points for the team by winning both the shot put and the discus throw, with throws of 14.35 meters and 44.08 meters, respectively.

“The team competed fiercely despite stinging rain, snow, hail, and winds,” said Andrews. “Also, in the absence of much competition, especially in the distance events, some respectable times were churned out by several teammates.... On the whole, the progress our team has made over the season is becoming more and more apparent, and I believe we are more than ready to destroy the competition next week at UAAs.”

The Tartans will be busy this weekend preparing for the UAA Outdoor Championships to be held in St. Louis, Mo. on April 24 and 25.