Track and Field: With one meet remaining, Tribe continues to dominate

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Courtesy Photo / Tribe Athletics

Friday, Feb. 21, at the Navy Select meet in Annapolis, Md., William and Mary notched 10 wins and four new school records to continue what has become one of the best seasons in Tribe history.  

Last weekend at the Virginia Military Institute invitational in Lexington, Va., the Tribe won five events and recorded numerous qualifying marks led by strong relay and distance performances. A key absence from that meet was senior Theo Chambers. The sprinter from Mclean, Va. broke the 200-meter dash school record on February 8 in State College, Penn. That record would not stand for long as Chambers crushed the record in a blistering time of 21.83 seconds at the meet over the weekend. In the 400-meter dash, Chambers broke yet another school record, running 48.54 seconds and finishing first overall.  

Fresh off his school record a few weeks ago in the 600-meter run, junior Colin Grip won the 500-meter run in 1:05.47 to finish first. In the 800-meter run, the Tribe thoroughly dominated, putting three runners in the top five led by senior Chris Short who won in a time of 1:52.57. Behind him in third and fifth was senior Raul Chavez-Gutierrez and junior Johnny Rogers. Senior JP Trojan continued his impressive showing in the 3,000-meter run, winning the race and leading a first, second and third place finish for the College. Juniors Evan Goodell and Spencer Tsai finished in second and third, respectively. The distance runners picked up several more points in the onemile with first and second place finishes from senior Copper Leslie and junior Patrick Lynch. Both runners recorded qualifying marks and broke 4:15 in the process. All three-mile runners ran personal bests as well.  

In the field events the College recorded three more wins, led by junior KJ Cook. The all-American won the shotput with a heave of 16.83 meters. Cook came back a few events later and dominated in the weight throw, winning with a mark of 19.49 meters. Junior Connor Scott and sophomore Troy Yearwood again performed very well. In total, those three athletes were responsible for 48 of the Tribe’s points in the team score. Junior Michael Fairbanks kept the winning trend going in the pole vault, jumping an even five meters to win the event.  

On the women’s side, junior Victoria Gersch broke her own school record in the 400-meter dash, winning the race and running 55.81 seconds. Just behind her in second place, freshman phenom Carly Swierbut continued her strong rookie campaign with a finishing time of 56.64 seconds. In the 200-meter dash, Gersch and Swierbut impressed yet again, both finishing in the top five. Swierbut’s fifth-place time of 25.10 seconds was a new freshman school record. Gersch finished second overall in 24.81 seconds. The final key performance in the sprints came from senior Susanna Maisto in the 500-meter run. Maisto placed in the top three with a time of 1:14.72.  

In the field events, the College picked up a few more qualifying marks across multiple events. Hometown star Alexis Brender a Brandis won the triple jump with a leap of 12.15 meters, continuing the senior’s strong season. After setting two lifetime bests last weekend in Lexington, freshman Keeley Suzenski placed eighth in the weight throw with a mark of 13.44 meters. That also marked a new lifetime best in the event. Sophomore Chelsea Wallace placed third in the shotput with a mark of 13.12 meters. 

In the distance events, the College recorded three top-five finishes across two events. In the 1,000-meter run senior Deirdre Lewin performed well, running a lifetime best of 2:56.86 for second place. Not too far behind was freshman Kaycee Cox-Philyaw, who finished in fifth place in just under three minutes. In the one-mile run junior Julia Lambert placed fourth overall in a new personal best of 5:09.56. 

Both teams stay close to home and will compete at Christopher Newport University at the CNU Qualifier next Saturday and Sunday in the last meet of the regular season.