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Track and field have strong showing at home meet

Ed Hardman ’16 and his team placed fourth in the 4×200 relay event. Photo by Jun Taek Lee

In light of last weekend’s Grinnell Invitational meet, the track and field team is looking forward to a successful season. The Pioneers came away from the meet, held last Saturday, Feb. 7, showing strong performances, but room for improvement.

Ed Hardman ’16 and his team placed fourth in the 4x200 relay event.  Photo by Jun Taek Lee
Ed Hardman ’16 and his team placed fourth in the 4×200 relay event.
Photo by Jun Taek Lee

Due to the early stage of the season, the coaches of the teams tried out athletes in different events in order to gain perspective on where to allocate athletes for the Conference tournament in May.

“[The meet] showed that it’s early. We’re still trying to get people in shape. We’ve got a number of people injured that we held out at the meet, including some top folk. The goal is to prepare people, find the appropriate event and prepare them best for the Conference meet,” said head men’s coach Will Freeman.

In spite of the early stage of the season, several athletes stood out. Among them was Adam Dalton ’16, who ran the mile and placed third with 4:34.23. Dalton competed as an unattached runner because he is leaving to study abroad later this semester.

Other winning athletes included those on the 4×200 relay team. Dixon Romeo ’16, John Mertes ’15, Kyle Moorehead ’15 and Ed Hardman ’16 all contributed to the team, which placed fourth with 1:36.59.

Looking ahead to this weekend’s Darren Young Classic, which Grinnell will host, Freeman’s strategy is to place runners in events he thinks the athletes will do well in for the Conference meet in May.

The women’s team also had several top performers at last weekend’s meet. Among them was a victory in the triple jump event by Eloise Miller ’15, her fourth win of the season. Miller, however, is already looking forward to this weekend’s events, in which she will compete in the open quarter. In spite of Miller’s strong performance, head women’s coach Evelyn Freeman still knows there is a lot of potential Miller has yet to reach.

“She’s been working on a few things technically. Even though she’s been winning almost every horizontal jumping event this season, she still hasn’t hit the good jump yet because there’s so much more potential there, so we’re expecting that to happen anytime now,” Freeman said.

Other top athletes at this meet included Shannon Young ’17, a transfer student from Colgate University, who competed in a Grinnell College facility for the first time. She managed to place second in her 800-meter run with a time of 2:26.69, which helped her place eighth in school history for this event. In spite of Young’s transfer status, her ability as an athlete has already impressed Coach Freeman.

“She’s a new transfer student and she’s coming back from taking a few months off of training,” Freeman said. “To run that fast this early in the season coming back so shortly from her time off, that bodes well for her future, so that’s really great.”

Furthermore, Sarah Jensen ’15, Miller, Nora Bresette Buccino ’16 and Becca Carpenter ’15 formed part of the fourth-place team in the 4×200 relay with a time of 1:54.63.

Both coaches agreed that the competitions leading up to the home Conference meet help shift their perspectives and assist them in training athletes for specific events.

“They’re a way to rehearse in a meet situation with great competition and with good competition comes the potential to carry you to a higher level. You play up to the level of your competition. It’s much easier to perform at a higher level in a competition as opposed to running a timed mile and practice,” Freeman said.

The teams’ next meet, the Darren Young Classic, will take place at the Charles Benson Bear ’39 Recreation and Athletic Center on February 14 at 10 a.m.

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