William and Mary used a series of impressive performances to win the Division I bracket of Christopher Newport University’s Vince Brown Invitational Saturday, beating out Hampton, Virginia Commonwealth and Norfolk State in both the men’s and women’s sides.
The Tribe was particularly strong in its field events, as sophomore Taylor Frenia won both the shot put and weight throw competitions. Frenia came close to rewriting program history by achieving the third-best performance in both events. Sophomore Brian Waterfield finished behind Frenia in both the shot put and weight throw while moving up to fifth in program history with a throw of 16.64 meters in the shot put, his lifetime-best throw by almost 20 inches.
The event wins didn’t stop outside of the throwing circle, however. The College’s pole-vaulting corps performed well as all five athletes finishing in the top-seven positions. Redshirt-freshman Derek O’Connell led the way with a 4.90-meter jump, good for the sixth-best in program history.
On the track, seniors David Gunnerson and Troy Sevachko finished within the top five in the 800-meter race, despite both competing in the event for the first time.
Enjoying a recent slew of event wins and records, director of track and field Stephen Walsh pointed to strong inner-squad competition.
“We have some great kids competing at a high level. Not only are there kids going for high records, but there are kids pushing them at a higher level,” Walsh said.
Next weekend, while senior Elaina Balouris, junior Emily Stites and sophomore Meghan McGovern will run in the Iowa State Classic Friday, the rest of the College team will compete at the prestigious Armory Track in New York City as part of the Lafayette/Rider Winter Games.
“You always have pressure going into competition, but we’ll be going into a fast track, not a flat track, so that will give us an extra advantage. Going up to New York and competing in the historical Armory is a huge deal for some of these kids,” Walsh said. “They’ll be competing against some top teams in the Northeast. This will be our one big weekend to hit some throws far and pop some times.”
Looking ahead, Walsh hopes the Tribe’s indoor season will help improve its outdoor performance. With a handful of athletes having already qualified for the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships and the Inter-Collegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America Championships, the goal remains to defend its outdoor Colonial Athletic Association title.
“Indoor is a building block, establishing what we can do outdoors,” Walsh said.
The College’s men return to action alongside the women in the Lafayette/Rider Winter Games Friday.