Usually winds slacken as night falls, but at Zable Stadium Friday, the wind picked up, gusting to nearly 40 miles per hour during the nighttime events at the annual Colonial Relays.
And on windy days, races against the clock suffer.
“It’s frustrating,” Men’s Head Coach Alex Gibby said. “You can’t control the wind. Performances weren’t necessarily rewarded by the clock today.”
So it came as a surprise when Gibby used words like “ecstatic” and “exceptional” to describe the men’s 10,000-m race. Three Tribe runners earned IC4A qualifying times in this event Friday. Sophomore Richard Morris, redshirt-freshman Max Werner and junior Drew Midland clicked off 74 and 75-second quarters as they tucked in behind Ed Moran ’03 and junior Ben Massam. The pace-setting of Moran and Massam helped the trio record personal bests despite the strong winds. Gibby said Morris, Werner and Midland could have run 25 to 30 seconds faster under ideal conditions.
“The wind didn’t change how we went after it,” women’s Head Coach Kathy Newberry said. “It changed the end results.”
Fortunately for the Tribe, their results were strong enough to capture both the women’s and men’s team titles. The Tribe women took down Seton Hall University 118.33 to 108, while the men held off Georgetown University 81-73.
Individual wins from sophomore Betsy Graney (3,000-m steeplechase), senior Abby Lemon (hammer throw) and junior Nicole Kazuba (pole vault), who qualified for the NCAA Regional meet, kept the Tribe in contention before the Saturday afternoon relays. It was during these realys that the team secured the team crown. The 4 x 1,500-m relay team, comprised of freshman Heather Beichner, junior Emily Schroeder, junior Kayley Byrne and junior Lynn Morelli, recorded a 15-second win over the University of Delaware to put the Tribe at the top of the standings for good.
“They raced well, and they made good decisions all day long,” Newberry said. “They should gain momentum from this.”
Meanwhile, the men took control through a string of runner-up performances. The Tribe’s lone individual winner, freshman Brandon Heroux, recorded an NCAA Regional qualifying mark in the javelin with a 220’6” throw. Junior Kiernan Lofland, who eclipsed 15’9”in the pole vault and senior high jumper Cameron Shriver also recorded second-place finishes. On the track, freshman Liam Anastasia-Murphy (3,000-m steeplechase), sophomore Brian Sklodowksi (1,500-m) and Morris (10,000-m) earned runner-up finishes as well.
The combination was enough for the Tribe men at the Colonial Relays. Gibby hopes it will also propel the team to a CAA title April 18 in Towson, Md.