M. and W. Track & Field defend Conference titles

By ERIC LYNCH | February 28, 2019

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COURTESY OF HOPKINSSPORTS.COM The women's track and field team won its ninth straight Centennial Conference Indoor Track and Field Championship title.

This weekend, the Hopkins men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in the Centennial Conference Championship in Lancaster, Pa. The men’s team came away with its seventh consecutive title, and the women’s team won its ninth consecutive title. 

This was an incredible weekend for both teams, and there are many great performances to recap. Senior sprinter Alex Mollick reflected on his team’s victory.

“Most people think track and field is an individual sport, but indoor and outdoor Conference Championships are the perfect example of how it’s much more than that. Each individual achievement contributes to the overall success of the team. You spend the weekend supporting teammates you may not practice with or see on a daily basis and come together as one big family. I couldn’t think of a better way to cap off the season than to secure another win and watch my teammates and friends do what they love,” he said.

The men’s team finished day one in third place, in part thanks to freshman Mitchell Porter, who won the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.56 and the high jump with a height of 1.94 meters. He also finished second in the shot put and long jump competitions.

The men also had strong performances in the 5000-meter run and distance medley. In the 5000-meter run, senior Ollie Hickson, junior PJ Murray, sophomores Jared Pangallozzi and Conner Delahanty and graduate student Panth Patel all finished in the top 10. In the distance medley, juniors Ted Oh and Vipul Bhat, sophomore John Brown and freshman Alex Dixon made up the team that secured second place.

The women ended the day in first place, foreshadowing their Championship victory. The lead performer was senior Maya Hammonds, winning the pentathlon and setting a school record in the process with a score of 3,403 points. She won the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 9.37, the high jump with a height of 1.62 meters, the long jump with a distance of 5.63 meters and the 800-meter run with a time of 2:33.89. In the shot put, she came in third with a distance of 8.43 meters.

Sophomore Annie Gutierrez won the pole vault with a height of 3.52 meters, while junior Caelyn Reilly won first place in the 5000-meter run with a time of 17:14.73. Senior Ellie Clawson and junior Samantha Levy also finished in the top three in the 5000-meter run. Freshman Cherease Lamm scored third place in the triple jump with a career-high distance of 10.67 meters.

On Sunday, the Blue Jays only found more success. Leading the men to their Championship was Mollick, who finished first in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.44. This is the third consecutive year he has won this race. He spoke about his individual victory in this race.

“Winning the 200-meter dash represents the culmination of the months of physical and mental preparation both on and off the track. My coach, Shedrick Elliott, has done an excellent job at keeping me centered on my goals and providing me with the necessary tools to succeed. Coach has always told us to trust the process. We had a plan, it was executed and it felt amazing to earn the 200-meter title for the third consecutive year,” he said. 

Porter extended his impressive heptathlon performance by finishing in first place overall after getting second place in the 60-meter hurdles and fourth in both the 1000-meter run and pole vault. 

Junior Matthew Su won the long jump for the third year in a row with a distance of 6.95 meters. The men’s team also got first in the 4x800 relay with a team of seniors Rob Dembinski and Alex Condotti, Oh and Dixon with a time of 7:56.60. 

For the women, their championship effort was backed by a number of impressive performances. Sophomore Alexandra Damron won the 400-meter dash with a time of 59.74. Senior Erin Brush won the 800-meter dash with a time of 2:17.84. Sophomore Therese Olshanski won the mile run with a time of 5:02.22. Caelyn Reilly won the 3000-meter run with a time of 9:58.47. And lastly, the 4x400-meter relay was won by a team made up of Damron, senior Hannah Miller, sophomore Hailey Sheppell and freshman Ashley Tyburski with a time of 4:03.74.

Following the successful weekend, Mollick reflected on his goals going forward.

“I’ve had my sights on the 60-meter record this year and am excited to get another chance at breaking it. The end goal is to qualify for nationals. I’m also looking forward to watching the men’s DMR compete as they have a really good chance at qualifying for nationals,” he said. 

Both the men’s and women’s teams earned these victories with incredible feats throughout the weekend. The teams will be looking to succeed at the All Atlantic/Mideast Regional Championships this weekend at Ithaca College.

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