Women’s and men’s track and field put up several record-breaking performances and personal bests on April 16 and 17. The teams sent some distance runners to Charlottesville, Va. to compete at the Virginia Challenge, while the rest of the team competed at the home track for the first time in two years at the Hopkins/Loyola Invitational.
The distance crew showed out at the Virginia Challenge. Senior Jared Pangallozzi shattered the seven-year-long Hopkins record in the men’s 10,000-meter race and broke the nine-year-long Centennial Conference record by 26 seconds, with a time of 29:20.29.
Graduate student Alex Glavin crossed the line in the same race at 29:59.05, which also would have broken the Hopkins record. Both he and Pangallozzi are in the top five nationally for the 10,000-meter race among Division-III runners.
Junior Alex Ross lined up as the only Blue Jay in the women’s 10,000-meter race and ran for 35:14.74. This time puts Ross among the fastest 10,000-meter runners in the country at the Division-III level and sixth all-time in the program’s history.
Ross discussed her strategy during the race as the sole Hopkins runner in an interview with The News-Letter.
“I really just wanted to find a good group of girls to run with for the first half and go out at a conservative pace. I definitely got lucky with the heat in that there was a group of runners who I was able to run with for the first five miles,” she said. “After that, I was able to pull ahead with one other athlete from the group, and we were able to work off each other for the last mile or so and pick up the pace.”
At the Hopkins/Loyola Invitational, senior Annie Gutierrez made the most of the heptathlon, as this meet served as one of the few opportunities to compete in the combined set of events. Gutierrez netted 4,613 points, recording personal bests in five out of the seven events. Her time of 14.73 in the 100-meter hurdles set a new Hopkins record.
Freshman Victoria Kadiri also broke the freshman outdoor record in the long jump with a leap of 5.69 meters, which also stands as the fourth-best jump in school history.
Kadiri shared how she has been able to become a key contributor in just her first year with the team in an interview with The News-Letter.
“I think my teammates have been most helpful. It's been amazing to be able to train every day with people who are committed to putting in their best every day but also know how to have fun,” she said. “They help push me in practice and are super supportive at meets. Our seniors Annie [Gutierrez] and Vero [Montane] in particular have helped me maintain a positive outlook, no matter what my marks are, and I think that attitude has contributed to my success so far.”
In the women’s 800-meter race, seniors Ariel Keklak and Therese Olshanski went one-two with times of 2:15.77 and 2:16.95, respectively.
Freshman Paloma Hancock ran for 17:52.30 in the 5,000-meter race, placing her in the top 25 this season nationally in this event.
Freshman Gavin McElhennon placed second in the 5,000-meter race, crossing the line at 14:45.74. This performance would qualify McElhennon for the NCAA Outdoor Championship meet if the season ended today.
On the field, senior Veronica Montane threw for 38.82 meters in the javelin. Currently, Montane will also be able to compete at the NCAA Outdoor Championship meet.
Graduate student Mickey Van Gieson ran a blazing 21.89 seconds in the men’s 200-meter dash, which placed him second at the meet. He also went for third in the 400-meter, coming through with a time of 49.39 seconds.
Junior Elias Boussouf took the gold in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 56.42 seconds, which is 1.35 seconds faster than his previous personal best.
The women’s and men’s teams now have one more meet until the Centennial Championships. They will travel to Gettysburg, Pa. for the Gettysburg Invitational on April 24.
With the most important meets approaching, Kadiri explained how the team will aim for success in the rest of the season.
“I think our coaches have been really intentional about structuring our workouts to peak at the right time, as well as constantly checking in with us and being super flexible,“ she said. “So really, I trust them to make sure that we're not too overloaded going into next week and can really put our best foot forward at conferences.”