Women’s track team sets two school records
Two school records fell Friday as the Washington University women’s track and field team claimed first place at the Rose-Hulman Twilight Meet in Terre Haute, Ind. The men’s team finished third.
Sophomore Sarah Fisher beat her own school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase by running the fastest time in Division III this year, 10:40.00. Lucy Cheadle clocked in at 10:44.69, also breaking the previous record.
Seniors Erica Jackey and Liz Phillips brought down the school’s 800-meter record, with times of 2:10.29 and 2:10.73, respectively.
“Seeing the girls’ 800-meters…was kind of a crazy race,” Fisher said. “They took out the first lap in a minute and one second, which is what boys usually run.”
The women’s team finished with a total score of 185 points, far ahead of second-place DePauw’s 117.50 mark.
Fisher and Cheadle fought colds throughout the week, and the rainy weather conditions in Terre Haute did not seem conducive to record-setting days for either of them.
“Knowing that you can perform this well given the rain and the cold and not feeling your best just means that you can basically persevere through anything,” Fisher said. “And hopefully the weather is better at [the University Athletic Association Outdoor championships], but if it’s not, we’re confident that we can perform just as well as a team as we did this past weekend.”
Head coach Jeff Stiles was not surprised by any of the record-setting performances.
“That’s kind of what I thought they’d do and hoped they’d do,” Stiles said.
Meanwhile, three individual champions led the men’s team to third place in the meet. The men barely missed out on second place, finishing with 115 points against host Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s score of 117.50.
Sophomore Caleb Ford checked in at 8:43.90 to win the 3,000-meter race, senior Wayne Banks won the triple-jump with a leap of 12.61 meters and senior Justin Pieper reached a height of 1.97 meters in the high jump.
Sophomore Justin Rodriguez placed third in the 3,000 meter (8:59.10) and junior Justin Rackley finished second (12.53 meters), behind Banks.
“It was good to see a lot of diverse strengths on the team, from the triple-jump to distance and to the sprints also, and then to the throwers,” Ford said. “And we got to perform through kind of rough weather with the rain and the cold, which should help us for the upcoming weekend at conference because we don’t know what to expect with the weather.”
Back on the women’s side, sophomore Shannon Howell contributed to three event titles.
She ran the 400-meter hurdles in 1:04.81, and helped the Bears claim victory in the 400-meter and 1,600-meter relays. In the 4×100-meter relay, Howell and sophomores Katie Sandson, Liz Godar and Ahkianne Wanliss ran a time of 50.43. Howell and sophomores Nkele Davis, Jasmine Williams and Elizabeth Worley won the 4×400-meter relay in 4:05.68.
Williams won an individual title in the women’s long jump with an outdoor personal record of 5.16 meters. She also finished second in the women’s high jump (1.62 meters).
In the women’s pole vault, sophomore Anna Etherington nearly reached her own school record height of 3.87 meters, falling one centimeter short at 3.86 meters. Freshman Claire Simons finished second (3.28 meters) with a season-best clearance.
Based on the results from Rose-Hulman, Stiles believes that his team is ready for next weekend’s UAA championships in Pittsburgh, Pa. Forecasts in Pittsburgh show temperatures in the 50s to 60s with a chance of rain.
“So many people are ready to go, so we’re excited to see what that looks like,” he said.