After months of relative inactivity, the men’s and women’s track teams sprang into action last weekend, dividing their teams and competing in three events over the course of three days — earning championship qualifications in the process.
The men split their squad in two Saturday, with some representing the Tribe in the Patriot Games in Fairfax, Va. against George Mason, and others competing against Navy in Annapolis, Md. Junior hurdler Matt Clark shined for the College, and five men qualified for the IC4As.
The women, meanwhile, spent Friday competing against Christopher Newport in the Captain’s Games in Newport News, Va. They traveled up I-95 Saturday to face George Mason in the Patriot Games. Senior distance runner Betsy Graney led a squad that qualified four for the ECAC Championships.
“All in all it was a good weekend,” Head Coach Andrew Walsh said. “We’re building up this season to the bigger meets later on.”
The bulk of Saturday’s action came in Fairfax, Va., where the entire women’s team and a portion of the men’s team competed. Graney won the mile race with a personal record time of 4 minutes, 55.12 seconds, which qualified her for the ECAC Championships next month.
Graney also competed in the distance medley relay, in which the Tribe’s team time of 12:06.20 was good enough for an ECAC qualification.
“It’s great to have a relay qualified, so hopefully we can bring along some underclassmen and get them some experience at the championship meet,” Graney said.
After winning her event at the Captain’s Invitational in Newport News Friday, senior pole vaulter Emily Jeremiah captured the top position once again in the Patriot Games Saturday. She shared first place with freshman teammate Nicole Dory. Both earned ECAC qualifications.
The majority of the men’s team was sent to compete at Saturday’s Wes Brown Invitational in Annapolis, Md. Perhaps the most impressive performance of the day came from Clark, who ran two personal best times in the 60-meter hurdles. He finished with a time of 8.37 seconds, and he now ranks as the second-fastest hurdler in school history, behind Erik Museik ’99.
“I’ve put a lot of hard work into it mentally, physically,” Clark said. “It means a lot when you train hard and reap the benefits from it.”
All five IC4A qualifications came from the distance team. Junior Alex McGrath became the first to qualify with a third-place finish in the 5,000-meter race. Junior Tom Burke and senior Lewis Woodard also met qualification times in the 3,000. Finally, in the mile, junior Liam Anastasia-Murphy and senior Brian Sklodowski put up qualifying times of 4:13.47 and 4:14.28, respectively.
Walsh said he was not surprised by any times, but pleased with the number of qualifiers and the steady improvement, which he described as “the ultimate goal.”
“The objective of the meet was to get the qualifiers,” Walsh said. “It was a nice weekend to get some good starts. We’re really hoping to get the guys ready for late February and early March for the indoor season to push into the outdoor [season].”