Track and Field win six events at Engineer Invitational

| Sports Editor

The Washington University men’s and women’s track-and-field teams hoped to establish some success and consistency at the Engineer Invitational Saturday at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. The Bears’ runners did not disappoint, finishing the meet with six event winners as the women’s team placed third, scoring 115 points and falling behind Monmouth College (144) and Bellarmine University (135). The men’s placed fourth with 83.5 points, behind Wabash College (129), Rose-Hulman (127.5) and Monmouth College (94).

“Overall, we did really well, and we’ve gotten better each week,” head coach Jeff Stiles said. “Our meets, in a sense, become part of our practice. We have most of our runners now, and we’re seeing them improve. We enjoyed the competition that we saw.”

On the women’s side, junior Anna Etherington and sophomore Claire Simons finished first and second respectively in the women’s pole vault. Etherington won the event, posting a height of 3.75 meters while Simons cleared 3.35 meters, both season-best marks

“[Etherington] didn’t have much competition,” Stiles said. “She’s been pretty consistent, which is difficult to maintain, but she’s worked very hard to be where she’s at.”

Junior Jasmine Williams contributed to the list of Bears’ event winners in the women’s long jump, clocking a season-best distance of 5.22 meters. Freshman Natasha Tillett followed Williams, placing third and posting a season-best mark of 4.89 meters. In the mile, freshman Nicole Migotsky won in a season-best time of 5:24.20. Seniors Leslie Davis (5:28.04) and Lexy Millett (5:28.30) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

In the women’s 1,600-meter relay, juniors Nkele Davis and Alison Cesarz and freshmen Lane Porter and Emily Warner recorded a time of 4:00.18 to win the event.

“I thought that was an exciting race,” Stiles said. “It was fun to go out on a high note, and I was pretty satisfied with the time.”

Despite placing fourth, the men dominated in a few events, including the 800 run, in which they were led by freshman Josh Clark, who clocked a winning and season-best time of 2:00.11. Senior Michael Benjamin and freshman Alex Bastian followed Clark, placing third and fourth with times of 2:00.22 and 2:00.91, respectively.

“We’re a very young team, but we’ve got a talented team filled with good athletes,” sophomore Troy Makous said. “Our freshmen have shown a lot of character, and their strong performance has really helped us in terms of scoring.”

Other notable events included the 800 relay, in which senior Ryan Doll, junior Arthur Townsend and freshmen James Fitzhugh and Connor Furlong won the event, posting a time of 1:32.85. In the 1,600 relay, Fitzhugh, Furlong, sophomore Brendan Stone and Townsend teamed up to place fourth (3:27.83). Sophomore Nick Alaniva and Makous placed fifth and sixth with marks of 4.20 meters and 4.05 meters, respectively, in the pole vault.

“I would definitely like to improve height-wise,” Alaniva said. “Freshman year was the period when I tried to get rid of all of my bad habits from high school. Sophomore year has been all about developing good habits and applying them. When you do things right, the height will come. There’s still a lot of improvements that I can make, but I feel good overall.”

Although the track-and-field teams experienced some success, runners are hoping to establish some consistency so that they will be prepared for the University Athletic Association Indoor championships in late February.

“We’ve had somewhat of a slow start, but we’re hoping to peak at the right time, that being the championship,” Makous said. “Although some of our athletes have had some ups and downs, we’ve improved between each meet as a whole, and we should be in great shape.”

The Red and Green will be back in action on Friday and Saturday as they attend the Keck Invitational in Bloomington, Ill. The Bears look forward to competing against several tough Division I teams, though the final heat sheets have yet to be released.

“This meet will be more challenging, and it’s going to be better competition than we’ve seen,” Makous said. “They’ll be higher marks and faster times, but it’ll be a good test for all of us.”