Led by junior Alex McGrath, William and Mary took care of business at the Virginia Tech Challenge this weekend in Blacksburg. In its final opportunity to qualify for indoor championships in two weeks, the men’s team earned 10 IC4A qualifications, while the women earned two ECAC qualifications.
“It was a solid weekend,” Head Coach Stephen Walsh said. “We got done what we needed to get done in terms of getting people qualified.”
On the men’s side, Friday’s action was highlighted by a dominant Tribe performance in the 3,000-meter race. McGrath’s time of 8:18.06 not only won the race but was a personal best by 13 seconds.
“We had our race set up very nicely,” McGrath said. “About halfway through I was feeling like maybe I wouldn’t be able to hold on. I started dropping back a bit, but in the last 800 meters or so I felt like I could handle it.”
Graduate student Lewis Woodard and freshmen Rad Gunzenhauser and Ted Richardson rounded out the top four spots in the race. All four runners qualified for the IC4A championships in Boston on March 5 and 6.
Senior Zach Jordan qualified in the weight throw, tossing the 35-pound weight 17.53 meters. He is now fourth-place all-time in College history.
“Zach had a very strong weekend,” Walsh said. “Of his eight throws, I think four of them were [personal records].”
Saturday, the men once again dominated in the 5,000-meter run, once again controlling the top four spots. Graduate student Chas Gillespie took first place with a time of 14:27.83 — a personal indoor best.
Junior Liam Anastasia-Murphy also qualified in the 1,000-meter race, to add to his qualifier in the mile last month.
The women’s team took the first and second spots in the 3,000-meter race, led by freshman Elaina Balouris and Kathleen Lautzenheiser.
“Elaina pretty much took over the race after about a [thousand meters] and led it from there,” Walsh said. “Kathleen kind of missed the jump but chased her down. The two of them are really running well.”
Lautzenheiser, who is recovering from an off-season knee injury, says she achieved her goal for the weekend, but would like to shave off a few more seconds in the championships next month.
“I still think I can run a little bit faster at the ECACs, but my main objective was to qualify, so I was happy with that,” Lautzenheiser said. “If I could, I would like to run at 9:40 which is a pretty big jump, but I may even be able to go below that.”