Both men’s and women’s track and field rolled up to the Widener Invitational this Saturday and flew out of the meet with second place finishes just shy of first.
The women’s team tallied 99 points, just 1.5 points behind first place The College of New Jersey; The men put up 95 points, 13 behind Rowan University’s 108.
The women posted impressive feats in a variety of events. In sprinting, senior Maya Hammonds pulled fourth at 15.17 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles and fourth in the 400-meter dash at 57.25 seconds, her personal best.
For her efforts, Hammonds was also named Centennial Conference Field Athlete of the Week. Sophomore Daniela Torres took fourth in the 400-meter hurdles, with a time of 1:06.02.
Freshman Chinaza Nwakpa and sophomore Alexandra Damron took ninth and 10th in the 200. Senior Gina D’Addario finished second in the 800-meter dash at 2:16.96, her personal best as well.
On the distance side, freshman Ella Baran won second place in the 1500-meter with an impressive 4:42.34, the best of her career so far.
Senior Shaina Palmer took it all the way home in the 5-kilometer, sailing across the finish line in first place at 18:04.25. Senior Julia Chang and junior Kristin Meek followed soon after at 18:24.15 and 18:26.12 respectively.
The Jays also stood out in the field. Sophomore Veronica Montané won javelin with a personal best throw of 43.74 and came out sixth in the triple jump at 10.71.
Junior Sophia Cortazzo snatched fourth with a 3.45-meter mark in the pole vault and sophomore Annie Gutierrez came in right behind her with a 3.30-meter mark.
Damron spoke about how the coaches have helped the team develop and grow.
“All of our coaches have been extremely helpful in helping us grow closer to each other as teammates. Since track and field is such a large team, it is very inspiring to have such a large support system and to have so many people celebrating each other’s successes,” she said.
“Our coaches have really been pushing us to grow meaningful relationships with each other as well as supporting us and encouraging us themselves.”
Damron continued to show appreciation for her coaches.
“In a sport where success is often defined by a concrete time or mark, it is especially encouraging having coaches who you know will continue to believe in you and support you even when you may not be competing at your best.”
The men put in work at the meet, as well. Many stand-out performances came from the field and distance events. Junior Ted Oh broke his personal record in the 1500-meter with an impressive time of 3:59.37, earning him a third place finish.
Senior Alex Condotti bounded in behind him in at 4:00.95 for fifth. Even longer races proved to be of little challenge to the Blue Jays.
Junior Vipul Bhat took third in the 5-kilometer at 14.58.67 and junior Isaac Mears took second in the 10,000 at 34:14.81.
On the field, Centennial Conference Field Athlete of the week freshman Ethan Bartlett won the long jump with a 6.89-meter mark. He also placed third in the triple jump with a 14.0-meter attempt.
Senior Benjamin Huang represented the Jays in pole vault, taking fifth with a 4.45-meter vault and freshman Zach Ellis took fourth in javelin with a 52.03-meter throw.
Damron commented on how the team is getting ready for the upcoming Penn relays.
“Besides changing up our workout schedule slightly for the week, the team is going about business as usual,” she said.
“Obviously Penn is a big meet, but our coach tries to really get us to focus on maintaining consistency and narrowing our focus onto the smaller things. So, even though we know it’s a big meet, we’re just focusing on what we can control, which is how we practice and prepare this week.”
The Penn Relays start Thursday, April 25.