With spring around the corner in sunny Williamsburg, the William and Mary men’s and women’s teams welcomed Buffalo, Cornell, George Mason, and Navy to Zable Stadium for the Dan Stimson Memorial Meet. Fresh off an astounding performance last weekend at the W&M Triangular Meet, the meet marked the first official scored competition of the outdoor season for both teams, as the women finished in second place and the men in third. It was a dominating day for Navy, who won multiple events and finished in first place on both the men’s and women’s sides.
The Tribe got several strong performances from the beginning of the meet, with sophomore Kelly Cook, Jr. placing second in the hammer throw and first overall in the shot put with throws of 55.93m and 17.37m respectively. Not too far behind was graduate student and reigning male Colonial Athletic Association Field Athlete of the Week Preston Richardson, who continued to build on his already impressive season with a throw of 16.82m. In addition, reigning female CAA Field Athlete of the Week Samantha Moravsky finished third in the javelin throw. Moving over to the pole vault pit, sophomore Michael Fairbanks won the pole vault with a lifetime-best mark of 4.83m, beating the rest of the field by nearly six inches. In the women’s pole vault, sophomore Taylor Jones and junior Lauren Graves tied for fifth position along with Wijitra Earnie Burapan from Buffalo. Sophomore George Cross jumped 13.59m in the triple jump, good enough to pick up a few points for the Tribe in fourth place.
However, the most important performances of the day for the College came when they needed it the most. The field athletes came through once again, this time led by freshman Chelsea Wallace and most importantly, senior Brianna Miller. The Midlothian, Va. native tied the William and Mary school record in the triple jump with a leap of 12.12m en route to a dominating win. The mark was an ECAC qualifier and personal best. Wallace placed fifth in the women’s discus throw to propel the Tribe into second place at the meet’s end.
On the track, the first running event of the day was the women’s 3000m steeplechase. Freshman Lauren Kroepfl continued her solid season, with a top-5 finishing time of 11:37.30. The New Jersey native has strung together multiple strong performances in the last two weeks, with a win in the 2000m steeplechase last weekend. Continuing the dominant distance runs, the Tribe women picked up 20 points in the women’s 1500m, with junior Charlotte Kowalk finishing first in 4:33.42. Sophomore Lauren Finikiotis and junior Olivia Paxton finished third and fourth respectively, both in 4:37. The Tribe got a pair of top three finishes in the men’s 1500m as well, with freshmen Evan Goodell and Micah Pratt each running 3:55 behind Jake Brophy of Navy.
In the 800m, sophomore Taylor Jones ran a personal best of 2:15.09 en route to a close win over Victoria Casarrublas of Cornell, who finished a mere .84 seconds behind. On the men’s side, sophomore Miles Owens opened his 2019 campaign with an impressive second place finish in 1:52.77. Teammate Raul Chavez-Guitierrez finished in sixth, in 1:54.94. Navy and Cornell dominated in the sprints, on a day that was not conducive to fast sprint times while the Tribe performed well in the field events and distance races. The final individual events of the day were the men’s and women’s 3000m. Senior Rachel Snyder placed second for the College, running 10:20.34, just one second off of her personal best of 10:19. On the men’s side, stadiumrecord-holder Ryan McGorty dominated the field, running an impressive opening time of 8:20.61, beating the next closest runner by seven seconds. Teammate Cooper Leslie finished in the top five as well, running 8:34.03. In the final events of the day, the 4x400m relay, both teams finished in the top three, with the women finishing in second, and the men finishing in third place.
Overall, the Tribe sprinters faltered at the track on Saturday afternoon, but the distance runners and field athletes carried the team to a pair of top-three finishes and nine total event wins. The College will need all hands-on deck in the next few weeks, with some key meets approaching in Raleigh, N.C. for the Raleigh Relays next weekend and then back at home in two weeks for the all-important Colonial Relays. Both meets will feature top-level Atlantic Coast Conference competition, along with some other contenders in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Both Tribe track and field teams will be back in action next Friday and Saturday at the Raleigh Relays, hosted by North Carolina State.