Despite resting several of the team’s best athletes, William and Mary was able to gain four qualifications in a pair of meets this weekend. Chilly trips to Raleigh, N.C. and the Fred Hardy Invitational in Richmond allowed the College to continue its early-spring season success.
“Richmond was a good meet,” head coach Stephen Walsh said. “We sat out a lot of guys to get ready for Colonial Relays this weekend, but we got what we needed.”
Senior Kelsey Budd and junior Sara Lasker started things off at Friday’s Raleigh Relays, competing in the 10,000-meter race. The upperclassmen placed 9th and 12th, respectively. Both times were personal records and good enough for ECAC qualifications.
Walsh, while acknowledging that the pair could have run faster, said he wanted them to run a controlled race and earn the qualifying time. He hopes that by holding them back, they can get more training and be ready to progress in time for the conference meets.
Budd, who closed out the second 5,000 meters faster than the first 5,000, said she is not accustomed to late surges.
“I started out in the back of the pack, and I started picking people off the last 5K,” she said. “It’s not generally my strategy, but I tried something new this race and it worked well.”
In Richmond, junior Brandon Heroux broke a meet record with a javelin throw of 69.17 meters. In addition to an IC4A qualification, the throw places him second all-time in school history and eighth in the NCAA so far this season.
While Heroux won the event by more than 40 feet, the junior expects to see tougher competition in the coming weeks.
“This past weekend was a bit of a smaller meet,” he said. “As the competition gets better, it always pushes the field a little farther so I’m hoping we have some good days and can all help each other out a little bit.”
Heroux has his sights set on beating his career-best of 69.33 meters and going to nationals, which he fell short of last season.
“My training has been going really well,” he said. “I’m hoping that I can definitely build off this and get some PRs in the next couple meets as the weather starts getting warmer.”
The final qualification came from senior Zach Jordan, who notched his second win of the season in the hammer throw with a career-best 55.48-meter toss.
Another notable performance came from sophomore Ben Katz, who won the high jump after clearing the bar at 1.95 meters. Senior Dan Klatzkin took second place in the discus toss with a throw of 46.02 meters.
The team now prepares for the 46th Annual Colonial Relays, which begin at Zable Stadium Thursday. While only a dozen or so athletes competed in Richmond, Walsh expects the entire team to be in action this weekend.
“We’re expecting a lot of entries and a lot of teams here,” Walsh said. “Villanova, Georgetown — there are a lot of big names coming.”