The William and Mary men’s and women’s track teams participated in another tune-up track meet, the Vince Brown Invitational at Christopher Newport University, this weekend in preparation for the indoor championships next month. The men’s distance medley relay team qualified for the IC4A championships, and freshman Elaina Balouris earned an ECAC qualication in the women’s mile.
“It was a so-so weekend,” Head Coach Stephen Walsh said. “You’re always hoping for more [qualifiers], but we’re going into [Virginia] Tech on a good track, and hopefully we can get the kids qualified in what they need to get qualified in.”
While there were only two qualifications — a drop-off from the eight the College had two weekends ago — Walsh remains focused on preparing the athletes both for the indoor championships and for the coming outdoor season. Five men recorded personal best times Saturday, while eight women logged personal bests on the weekend.
“They’ve been working really hard, putting a lot of effort in these past couple weeks,” Walsh said. “There has been a lot of hard training in progressing towards the end of the indoor season. [We are] really looking toward the outdoor season, which is where we are looking for a lot of the kids to hit it.”
Senior weight thrower Zach Jordan began the day by winning his event with a throw of 16.62 meters. His coach credits some of the extra distance to a change in practice last week, when Jordan incorporated a fourth turn in his throwing technique.
“He’s never done that before in a competition,” Director of Track Dan Stimson said. “Not many people can do four turns. It’s a difficult technique, but it will help him. He’s done a great job of learning it and working real hard.”
While pleased with his performance, Jordan said he remains about two inches short of the qualification distance.
“I’m getting pretty close to the IC4A qualifier, which is what I made pretty easily last year,” Jordan said. “I would like to hit it this weekend at Virginia Tech.”
Meanwhile, the men’s distance medley relay team of senior Brian Sklodowski, senior Matt Clark, junior Liam Anastasia-Murphy and junior Alex McGrath put together a strong time of 10 minutes, 14.27 seconds to easily qualify.
“We weren’t looking for anything blazing, just trying to get a team qualified and get some work,” Walsh said.
Balouris was the lone ECAC qualifier for the women’s team, winning the mile race with a time of 4:58.77. Fellow freshman Kathleen Lautzenheirser finished fourth in the race, but her time of 5:00.92 was just short of the qualifying time.
Balouris was glad that some of the upperclassman racers were able to sit back and give the freshmen more experience.
“We wanted more freshmen to get experience in running college races,” Balouris said. “So, that’s why we take smaller meets like CNU and get practice with that so when we go to Virginia Tech, it’s not a shock.”