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The Scarlet & Black

Track and Field welcomes opponents with Dick

The Pioneer Men’s and Women’s track teams are coming off a strong start to their outdoor season after putting up many top ten all-time school marks at the Jim Duncan Invitational held Friday and Saturday, April 13-14, at Drake University in Des Moines, IA, and the Cornell College Invitational held at Cornell College also on Saturday at Mount Vernon, IA.

Harpreet Singh ’12 practices hurdling technique during practice on Wednesday, April 18. Photograph by Joey Brown

“[The Jim Duncan] was a selective meet where they limited the entries to so many per event,” Women’s Head Coach Evelyn Freeman said. “So, we had maybe 20-25 people compete there, and the bulk of the team we sent to Cornell College to compete there.”

At the Jim Duncan, on the women’s side, Jordan Young ’14, who placed sixth with a 130 foot toss in the Hammer Throw, and Eloise Miller ’15, who placed second by jumping 36’-2” in the triple jump, both shattered previous school records. Other strong performers for the Pioneers included Sarah Burnell ’14, who came in fourth with a time of 2:16.12 in the 800 meter dash, and Christine Ajinjeru ’14, who placed sixth in the 400 meter with a time of 58.74 seconds, second-best in school history.

“Overall I think the women did very well,” Young said. “We had some strong performances. There were people from Division I and II schools such as North Dakota State, Drake, and Truman University.”

On the men’s side, Gavin Warnock ’14 placed eighth in the long jump with a distance of of 20’-3½”. Jake Lindstrom ’14 pole-vaulted 13-7 ¼, placing ninth, and Team Captain Eric Ragan ’12 took tenth in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 58.12 seconds.

“We had some really good competition at Drake,” Ragan said. “There were some Division I schools, so it was really tough. But, everyone who went did well and placed high comparatively to the other Division III schools.”

The men and women’s teams also performed well at the Cornell College Invitational.

Gus Fulgoni ’15 won the high jump with a height of 6’-3/4”, jumping up to sixth on the all-time Grinnell record board, while Zack Angel ’15 placed third in the 800m with a time of 2:02.32, and the men’s 4×400 relay team placed forth.

The women were led by their 4×800 relay, which placed fourth with a time of 11:11.40. Catherine Bisignano ’12 placed ninth in the 1500-meter run with a time of 5:20.33, and Jacqui Vautin ’13 also placed ninth in the 5000, with a time of 20:25.96.

“It was our first outdoor meet aside from in Florida,” Coach Freeman said. “So, it was, ‘Okay, here we go. Let’s get one in.’ So we got two in.”

The Pioneers are feeling confident about their performance at this point in the season.

“I think especially on the women’s side, we’re leading up to conference really well,” Young said. “We’re really outperforming our expectations. There is a lot of potential for us to perform very well at conference and place better than we did last year.”

“I think our training is going really well,” said Ragan. “We didn’t take any time off between the indoor and outdoor seasons, so it’s just a continuation from that. Our workouts are the hardest of the season right now. So, our times aren’t really fast now, but we’ll be faster at the end when we taper off.”

The Pioneers will have a chance to show off at home this weekend when they host the Dick Young Classic on Saturday, April 21. The meet, which is named in honor of former Grinnell track coach Dick “Killer” Young, starts at 9:30 a.m. with the 10k. Colorado College, Cornell College, Iowa Wesleyan, Mount Mercy College and St. Benedict College will all be present.

“The Dick Young will be a good time. There are a lot of alums coming back to watch; it is a big part of Grinnell track tradition,” Ragan said. “We should be really competitive in this meet just based off of the teams that are coming, so we should be up there in the team standings.”

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