Luca Fornari `25 vaults during the Darren Young Classic on Feb. 10. He earned 2nd in the event with a 4.25 meter pole vault.
Luca Fornari `25 vaults during the Darren Young Classic on Feb. 10. He earned 2nd in the event with a 4.25 meter pole vault.
Meilynn Smith

Track and field shatters records, looks forward

Although they both shattered personal and school track and field records at last week’s home meet, both Lucas Fadden `26 and Luke Robinson `26 said they have a long way to go in reaching their goals. 

“I just don’t think I’m at the level I want to be, so I think it would be too soon to celebrate,” Fadden said. 

With the Feb. 23 indoor track and field Midwest Conference approaching, coaches and athletes have begun to adjust their training methods, aspirations and energy for the rest of the season.  

Ian Clawson `26 earned 2nd in the weight toss with a throw of 17.23 meters. (Meilynn Smith)

“Sometimes success is contagious, so when they [the athletes] see their peers do something that feels really big, it makes it feel more possible,” said Sarah Burnell `14, assistant track and field coach. 

Robinson, who topped the previous all-time school record of 4 minutes and 20.16 seconds with a time of 4 minutes and 18.5 seconds, said, “it’s a really small step and I’d like to be a lot better than I am. I’m happy that I keep making consistent improvements, but I can’t really sit and get complacent with where I’m at now.”

Jeff Pedersen `02, head track and field coach, Keegan Parrott, assistant track and field coach and Burnell explained that after a heavy training period in the past few weeks, they want the team to maintain its momentum while physically recovering. “Our intensity is high so we’re just going to remove some of the volume,” said Parrott. “[We’ll] let them really recover and keep the fitness up.” 

Burnell said that while she wants the athletes “to feel sharp and fast for [the indoor Midwest] Conference,” they will continue to keep their sights on the outdoor conference set for the beginning of May. 

In his 200 meter race at the Feb. 10 home meet, Fadden placed 1st with 22.27 seconds, his personal best time — also edging out the previous all-time school record of 22.57 seconds made in 1991 by Darren Young `93, the namesake of both the meet and the College’s track and field complex. 

Despite this accomplishment, Fadden said he was unsatisfied with his overall performance. The last 50 meters of the race, he said, “could’ve used a lot of work, like I broke down a little bit. So I’m excited, but I don’t think I’ve reached my goals yet.” Fadden has his sights set on qualifying for the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III National Championships, hoping to break under 22 seconds in the 200. 

Similarly, Robinson expressed his desire to continue building energy and strength throughout the season. “I don’t think any of the [College] records are super, super fast, and I don’t think my own time is even that fast. I think there’s a lot of room for improvement, so I’m excited for the future.” 

Burnell and Pedersen said that although they are excited whenever an athlete breaks a personal or school record, it’s not always surprising. “In practices and workouts, we know what they’re capable of,” said Burnell. “You don’t want to put a ton of pressure on it.” 

Pedersen said that more than celebrating with an athlete immediately after a good race, “it’s neat to see how not only the individual athlete responds, but also how their teammates respond, whether that’s picking them up after a tough event or celebrating with them on a PR or top ten time.”

Parrott said, “I’m really excited to see how we learn from the past meet and how we’re going to apply that moving forward.”

Keely Miyamoto `26 (above) and Morgan Karow `26, Allison Rabbani `25 and Grace Charron `26 (not pictured) won the distance medley relay with a time of 13:31.57. (Meilynn Smith)

In their distance medley relay (DMR), which includes 1200, 400, 800 and 1600 meter legs, Morgan Karow `26 and Keely Miyamoto `26 ran first and last, respectively. Two other primarily distance runners, Allison Rabbani `25 and Grace Charron `26, ran the middle two legs. 

Because the team has had more intense practices during the past few weeks, Karow said, “We were all running on tired legs a little bit.” Ultimately though, out of the 3 teams competing in the relay, Miyamoto pushed Grinnell into 1st place in the final leg with an overall time of 13 minutes and 31.57 seconds. 

Karow also placed fifth in the 3000 meter run with 10 minutes and 52.27 seconds, just trailing teammate Hannah Roark `26 by less than a second. “I also want to point out, because Keely’s too humble to, that there were maybe 12 minutes between finishing the 5k and starting the DMR,” said Karow. Indeed, shortly before their leg in the relay, Miyamoto had placed 3rd in the 5000 meter run with 18 minutes and 12.91 seconds. 

“I knew I wasn’t gonna run a time I would be happy with. So when I got the baton it was just kind of like tunnel vision,” said Miyamoto. An accomplished distance runner, Miyamoto said they don’t typically run races as short as the mile, “but it was fun to get to run around with a baton.” 

Other notable performances from the Darren Young Classic include a 4.25 meter pole vault that landed Luca Fornari `25 in 1st place, and an impressive weight throw toss of 17.23 meters by Ian Clawson `26 that earned him second. Overall, the men’s team placed 3rd out of eleven teams and the women’s team placed 5th out of 10 teams. 

As they look forward to the lengthy season ahead, Miyamoto said, “I’ll just run as long as they’ll let me.”

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