By: Gabrielle Cercone
On April 9, the UMW track and field team participated in the Christopher Newport Invitational and placed 13 times across 10 different events.
Geography major, member of the secondary education program and junior 3000-meter runner Dylan Wright said before the CNU meet occurred that “we had a lot of improvement last meet [the Battleground Relays] and we’re going to build off of that.”
After the meet ended, psychology major, member of the elementary education program and junior 1500-meter runner Grace Pippin said that “UMW had a lot of great performances across the board on the track and in field events.”
The athletes believe that they’ve done their best, despite not having a head coach. “We’ve been working hard and I think that the best is yet to come,” said senior political science major and 1500-meter runner Patrick Brown.
Across ten events, the team placed either first, second or third in 13 events. Seven of these were in the men’s events and six were in the women’s events. In a track and field event, points are assigned depending on placement, with first place receiving the most points and the value descending as participants place further down in ranking. The team with the most overall points at the end of the meet is considered the winner. At time of publication, the overall team scores from the invitational have not been posted.
In the men’s long jump, senior business administration major Rajai Walton placed first with a distance of 7.17 meters. Sophomore computer science major Ethan Young placed first in the men’s 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.33 seconds. The men’s 3000-meter run saw junior physics major Matthew O’Cadiz placing second with a time of 9:8.25, and junior business administration major Blake Mason taking third with a time of 9:21.94. In the women’s javelin throw, senior psychology major Rachel Remer placed second with a distance of 29.73 meters, and junior environmental science major Abbie Bolinger placed third with a distance of 26.52 meters.
Before the meet, freshman environmental science major and 5000-meter runner Jessica Oberlies said the team was preparing for the meet by doing core and stretching exercises.
Oberlies came in second with a time of 20:53.77 in the women’s 5000-meter run. Senior psychology major Amy Rouse joined her on the women’s 5000-meter run placement board, coming in third with a time of 21:58.52.
In the women’s 4×400-meter relay, sophomore biology major Caroline Joyce, senior sociology major Cameron Delean, freshman nursing major Amanda Heckman and freshman conservation biology major Camila Perez Rondon placed second with a time of 4:23.09.
The men’s 4×400-meter relay also saw Young, senior marketing major Wilson Jackson, senior sociology and Spanish major Darius Reed, and junior communication and digital studies major Nicholas Onorato coming in third with a time of 3:28.56.
Junior environmental science major Kevin Munson represented UMW in the men’s pole vault, placing third with a distance of 4.1 meters. The men’s high jump had sophomore sociology major Aiden Smagh coming in third with a distance of 1.78 meters. Senior business administration major Haileigh Byrd came away with third in the women’s 100-meter hurdles with a time of 16.52 seconds.
Looking to the future, “Everything now is to prepare for our conference,” said Oberlies. The championship conference meets for UMW track and field begin on May 8, but until then the team has the Johns Hopkins Invitational on April 23.