Track and field teams finish UAAs on right foot
The men’s and women’s track and field teams traveled to New York City last weekend to compete in the UAA Championships, hosted by New York University. The women’s team finished in sixth place of the seven teams in competition with 53 points, while the men claimed second with 177.
Throwers from both teams exhibited tremendous performances at the UAAs. Zachary Erra-Hernandez, a junior thrower who is finishing off a season full of new personal records, won the discus event, throwing 44.69 meters. First-year Paul Hamerski threw 52.36 meters in the javelin in a third-place performance, while junior Nathan Cheek and David Markowitz added fourth- and sixth-place performances, respectively, in the javelin. Gino Pilato placed third in the discus with a 43.79-meter throw.
Junior distance runner Joshua Newby cited the throwers as one of the key components to the Tartans’ success at UAAs, saying, “the throwers were clutch today.”
On the women’s throwing side, senior Sarah Menio threw the discus 32.73 meters for sixth place, and senior Carissa Iannone won eighth in the javelin with a performance of 28.61 meters.
The distance team excelled as well. Newby, who placed first in the steeplechase and fourth in the 5,000-meter run, said, “everyone performed really well,” elaborating, “Billy Littlefield scored us a point in the 10k, and Marc-Daniel [Julien] scored for the 1500-meter.”
Sophomore Tommy Vandenberg won the 800-meter with a season-best time of 1:52.77, placing him as the 14th-fastest 800-runner this season in Division III.
Senior Ben Nealy and first-year Marc-Daniel Julien each finished in fifth place in the 400-meter dash and 1,500-meter race, respectively. Newby said, “the most exciting moment for the team was when Marc-Daniel Julien, a first-year, improved by five seconds in the 800 yesterday and a 10-second gain for a PR [personal record] today.”
Julien said the UAAs was “personally the best track meet of my year.”
The women’s distance team faced intense competition from teams including NYU and the University of Chicago, but still saw a 37:19.69 second-place finish in the 10,000-meter by senior Emily Wobb.
Sophomore Halley Bayer won eighth and junior Elise Hall claimed ninth in the 5,000-meter, while senior Leila Bouabdellaoui received ninth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
“We had a pretty good showing... maybe this year was more of a learning experience than anything else,” Bayer said.
Sprinters and jumpers had a vital role for the team. Sophomore Mike McDermott won the high jump in a 1.98 meter jump. Also winning was the 4x400-meter relay team of first-year Doug O’Connell, Julien, senior Noel Titus, and Vandenberg. Titus finished second in both the 100-meter and 200-meter competitions.
First-year Ben Neiman, competing after struggling with injuries for a portion of the season, placed third in the 110-meter hurdles with a personal record of 15.72 seconds, and junior Mike Standish claimed third in the 400-meter hurdles with a season best of 56.72 seconds. First-year Brandon Hoane placed seventh in the triple jump.
From the women, Jacqueline Guevel swept away the competition in the hurdles, winning the 100-meter event in 14.43 seconds and the 400-meter in 1:02.23. Her 100-meter performance is ninth in the nation, while her 400 is fourth; Guevel qualified for Nationals during UAAs due to her impressive times.
Sasha Spalding finished sixth in the 200, and Jenna Asperslag, who pulled her hamstring prior to the final heat in the 100-meter dash, still walked through the finish line to give a point to her team.
“The team overall did really well all around on the field and on the track,” Julien said. Both the men’s and women’s teams will travel to Allegheny College’s Gator Invitational on May 10.