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Personal bests galore: track and field show strongly at Darren Classic

Cory Hall

A fleet of athletes from the Grinnell men’s track and field team set personal bests at the Darren Young Classic on Saturday. Feb. 12. As the final indoor meet hosted by Grinnell this season, the 2022 Darren Young Indoor Invitational hosted 11 collegiate track and field teams from across the Midwest. Grinnell College finished in ninth place overall out of eleven teams, a step down from 6th place at the same meet in 2020. Despite the low standing, dozens of runners found success in achieving new personal records in either their placement, or their time. 

Declan O’Reilly `22, Eli Brotman `25 and their teammates gathered at the Bear Athletics and Recreation Center fieldhouse to compete in their associated events. Competing in the 800-meter dash and 3k respectively, O’Reilly and Brotman showed their peak performance on an extremely competitive stage. 

“It was just a thrill to be able to be on the same track with that caliber of athletes and be able to compete against them. I’ve got more room to grow, but I absolutely loved the opportunity to compete with those guys.” said O’Reilly.  

Brotman cut down over fifteen seconds from his personal best and placed twelfth, ending with a 9:33.11 finish. “I like my performance. I was happy with it, and I set a personal best,” Brotman said. 

“My goal in every race is to take my body somewhere it hasn’t gone before. The field house was jam packed and it’s all in an enclosed area. Everybody is able to watch everybody, which is a fun vibe” he said.  

O’Reilly earned a third-place finish in 1:59.7. Despite starting his career later than many of his competitors, he expressed determination to defend his title and excel in his event.  

That competitive energy wasn’t lost on the rest of the team. Several of their teammates also pushed their limits, finishing second in the 4×200 platoon relay and third in the 3k run. 

“I really look forward to that feeling of when you cross the finish line and you’re catching your breath,” said Brotman. 

“That hurt slowly washes away and the endorphins are what’s left. Your head is clear and a smile is on my face and I’m laughing with my teammates cheering on other races. It’s a really fun experience,” he said.  

Grinnell also attended the Wartburg Invitation last Saturday, Feb. 19th ahead of conference championships in Galesburg, IL. 

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