Divide and conquer. The old adage holds true in all contests, including — as William and Mary showed this weekend — track and field.
The team sent representatives to the Mount San Antonio College Relays in in Walnut, Calif. and the Kent
Taylor-Joe Hilton Invitational in Chapel Hill, N.C. Despite the stormy weather on the east coast, the team scored a number of impressive performances.
“I thought Mt. SAC went really well,” head coach Stephen Walsh said. “Everyone we took out there did well. We got hit with bad weather at UNC, but were still able to get some positive things out of it.”
The majority of the team competed at UNC, where the Tribe came up with several career-best marks. In the long jump, freshman Nicole Dory flew 5.59 meters, breaking a 14-year-old freshman record by nearly two inches.
“It was really, really windy,” Dory said. “I stood up and was ready to go and I got blown over by the wind so I had to reset and everything. I was mostly making sure I didn’t scratch because of the big tail wind I had behind me.”
While the jump placed her eighth in the competition, she is now in fourth place for outdoor jumps in the College’s history. She hopes to continue to improve and to hit 19 feet before she graduates.
“I’m really happy with it; it’s a personal [record] from high school,” Dory said. “I’d like to be first in the school record but hopefully over the next four years I can really improve to get it done.”
Fellow freshmen Kathleen Lautzenheiser and Elaina Balouris continued their impressive rookie campaigns at Mt. SAC by running personal records and ECAC qualifying times in the 1,500-meter and 5,000-meter races, respectively. Balouris’s time of 16:22.05 broke the freshman record set by Lautzenheiser three weeks ago.
“Kathleen had another good run … it was a crowded field,” Walsh said. “For the number of talented women that have come here before, to break [the freshman record] by that much shows that she’s doing a heck of a job her freshman year.”
On the men’s side, junior Brandon Heroux continued his domination of the javelin toss at Mt. SAC by throwing 69.86 meters. This distance broke his school-record toss of 69.33 meters, set at the 2009 CAA championships. It was good for eighth in the competition and 21st in the nation.
“Brandon has been a little banged up,” Walsh said. “But a new school record in javelin shows that he’s really coming along moving forward.”
Thursday in California, a trio of Tribe runners competed in the 10,000-meter race. Redshirt freshman Josh Hardin, senior Ben Massam, and junior Alex McGrath placed 17th, 21st, and 22nd in the race.
While a few athletes may compete in the JMU Invitational in Harrisonburg this weekend, most of the squad has started to prepare for Penn Relays in Philadelphia from April 28-30.
“I don’t think I will race any distance people, very few sprinters, maybe some of the jumpers just to get a little more work,” Walsh said.