Saturday morning was cold, dark and rainy. Most students would have been in bed when the women’s four kilometer run started at 9:00 a.m or when the men’s six kilometer run began at 9:30 a.m.
Despite the early hour, Washington University athletes were up for a test against the elements and talented opponents. Conditions on the course were grueling at best. Rain slicked grass made for a slippery slope on portions of the course in Forest Park’s Central Field. Mud was bountiful with shoes submerging at least an inch for every step a runner took.
The Wash. U. women took first beating out Division I schools Xavier University and St. Louis University. The men took second in a field of 17 schools behind Xavier. Times weren’t that important in this meet given the tough conditions. Talking with the runners showed how though Wash. U. has both a men’s and women’s team, both are in the same family.
Throughout the meet, the men would cheer on the women while the women would do the same. No one left until everyone had finished. Numerous Wash. U. track & field athletes were also acting as guides and helped run the meet.
The three top men’s finishers: sophomore Michael Burnstein, freshman David Hamm, and sophomore Malik Nabulsi hadn’t even been running for Wash. U. last year. Senior Molly Schlamb, who finished first for the women, had to overcome injuries throughout most of last season.
From my observations, the team continued to cement their team bond through the difficulty of the meet. The experience will also help them if they encounter adverse conditions in other meets.