Track and field: Men take first, women third, at WU Select
Be it individual or team successes, the Washington University men’s and women’s track & field teams both had their share of victories this past weekend at the Washington University Select Meet at Bushyhead Track.
The men’s team took first place overall out of the four schools that participated. Meanwhile, four members of the women’s team met NCAA provisional qualifying times at the meet. The women’s team finished third out of four.
“It was great,” sophomore Dan Davis said. “Most of the meets we [participate in] aren’t this small, so it was nice to have a meet that keeps on moving through. All the teams we ran against were good teams.”
The men’s side, which defeated Illinois Wesleyan University, Greenville College and Wartburg College, was led by a strong effort from Davis, who won the 110-meter hurdles at a mark of 14.68 and the 400-meter hurdles at 54.78.
“It was good to hit that mark,” said Davis, who just missed his personal best of 14.61 from a week before. “Last week we had a pretty decent tailwind and this week we had a tiny headwind, so it’s nice to know I have that mark and now I can look to improve on it.”
Joining Davis was graduate student Pierre Hoppenot in the dual-winners category, as Hoppenot won the 100-meter dash at 11.01 seconds and the 200-meter at 22.67 seconds.
Other winners for the Bears on the men’s team included senior Keith England’s 51.78 meters in the javelin, freshman Tom Arnold’s 13.10 meters in the shot put, senior Matt Kruger’s 9:37.98 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and sophomore Matt Rickard’s 1:56.37 in the 800-meter run.
The highlight of the women’s side was in the 1,500-meter run, where three provisional qualifying times were met, including sophomore Liz Phillips’ school record at 4:33.08.
“[Getting the record was] the goal and the expectation, and going into this race, I was hoping that would be the outcome,” Phillips said, adding that the teams agreed beforehand to stack the 1,500 with some of their strongest runners to set up a competitive race.
Senior Molly Schlamb and junior Sangeeta Hardy also met the provisional times at respective marks of 4:35.01 and 4:37.35.
Elsewhere on the women’s team, senior Hana Damore took first in the hammer throw, with her 47.96 meters meeting another provisional mark for the Red and Green last weekend.
Junior Kelli Blake’s 2:18.53 earned first place in the 800-meter run, and senior Allison Lee took the pole vault at 2.74 meters.
Despite the team’s position in the final standings, the women had several top times and scores across the board in the meet. Given that they were facing the defending indoor track champions, Wartburg, and another perennial contender in Illinois Wesleyan, the women were happy with their results for the weekend.
“I think we definitely did very well given the circumstances,” Phillips said. “We had some people going for some national qualifying times and didn’t have our strongest lineup, and the focus was to get the best marks we could in certain areas.”
With this meet behind them, the Bears have one more meet next weekend before University Athletic Association Championships on the weekend of April 24-25. They will travel to Wheaton, Ill., next Saturday, April 17, for the Wheaton Twilight Meet.
“I think we’re in a great place,” Head Coach Jeff Stiles said. “All of the athletes are coming around. We’re doing great, jumping great, throwing great. We want to put our best foot forward.”