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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
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Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
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Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
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Track and field have strong showing

The men’s and women’s track teams competed in the Hilltop Invitational, their first meet of the indoor season, on Saturday at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa.

Eloise Miller ’15 long jumps in practice this week.  Photo by Leina'ala Voss
Eloise Miller ’15 long jumps in practice this week.
Photo by Leina’ala Voss

The Grinnell women finished fifth overall in the meet with 55 points.

“It was a really strong opener. Overall people had good inaugural races, “ said co-captain Ellen Pinnette ’15. “That said, I think a lot of people have goals for the season which weren’t necessarily met at this first meet, and we’re still getting back into the track mindset.”

Co-captain Eloise Miller ’15 dominated the horizontal jumps with first-place finishes in the long jump (16-1 1/2) and triple jump (34-6 3/4) events in which she also holds school records. In the other field events, Samantha McConnell ’17 was fourth in the pole vault with a leap of 7-6 1/2.

Eva Smith ’16 also snagged a blue ribbon for the Pioneers in the mile run with a time of 5:33.86. She led teammates Emma Luhmann ’18 (4th place, 5:38.35), co-captain Diana Seer ’15 (6th, 5:38.76), Shannon Young ’17 (7th, 5:39.52) and Whitney Teagle ’18 (10th, 5:46.81).

Also earning a spot on the podium for the Pioneers was the distance medley relay team of Young, Miller, Smith and Seer, which placed second in 13:28.09.

Pinnette finished sixth in the 800-meter run in 2:39.57. Bridget O’Malley ’17 also finished sixth in the 3000 meter in 1:47.37 and Alison Bayly ’15 finished seventh in the 3000 in 11:59.89.

The Grinnell men finished fourth overall, led by Nate Kolacia’s ’16 second place finish in the mile with a time of 4:35.88. Teammate Matthew McCarthy ’17 finished ninth in the race with a time of 4:48.64.

This was a strong redemption moment for Kolacia, as it was his first race after being sidelined with illness for most of last year’s track season and this year’s cross-country season.

“It’s good to be back and competing again,” Kolacia said. “I just want get back to where I can compete at a high level and train at a high volume while retaining my health.”

Also medalling for the Pioneers was Kevin Anderson ’18, who finished third in the 800 in 2:06.42.

“We weren’t too concerned with the overall outcome,” said Head Men’s Coach Will Freeman. “The conference meet is really the only one that matters; everything that comes before is just trying people in different events to see where they fit best.”

In particular, the men’s distance team suffers a big loss this year, losing their triple threat of Frank Canady ’14, Ben Tyler ’14 and Adam “Salty” Dalton ’16, who swept the 5K at last year’s indoor and outdoor conference.

“Every year that happens,” Freeman said of the reshuffling of athletes. “It goes in cycles, though. Yes, that’s a big loss, but we’ve also got some pretty talented people this semester.”

Dixon Romeo ’16 placed fifth in the 60-meter dash in 7.31 and Ed Hardman ’16 finished 10th with a time of 7.38. In the same race, John Mertes ’15 ran the eighth-fastest time in school history and Kent Hoover ’17 the 10th-fastest.

In the field event sector, Luis Hernandez ’15 was fourth in the pole vault with a leap of 11-9 3/4 and Kyle Moorehead ’15 was fifth at 9-6 1/4. Moorehead was also fourth in the triple jump with an effort of 35-3.

On the distance side, Anthony McLean ’17 was seventh in the 3000 in 9:15.98 and Connor Gregorich-Trevor ’18 ran 9:32.46 to place 10th.

For the relays, the distance medley relay team of Aidan Healey ’17, Moorehead, Jonathan Braun ’17 and Kolacia placed fifth in 11:32.26. Meanwhile, Isaiah Tyree ’15, McCarthy, co-captain John Gallagher ’17 and Greg Margida ’16 took sixth in the 4×400 in 3:56.13.

In the 4×200 relay Joe Galaske ’17, Braun, Hoover and Hardman placed seventh in 1:40.34.

Looking forward, the Pioneers are trying to have peak performances for the indoor and outdoor conference meets. For now, energy is more focused on teambuilding.

“I’d like us to get back to having the team chemistry we had last year and the year before and win a national championship,” Kolacia said.

“I want to make sure we have a good collective mindset going into meets. Track has a reputation for being an individual sport, but we need to bear in mind that we win championships as a team,” Pinnette said.

The Pioneers will host their own Invitational this Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.

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