Track and Field: Men and women take first in Tribe Invitational

William and Mary kicked off the outdoor season with a victory at the Tribe Invitational at Zable Stadium Friday and Saturday. The Tribe women easily outpaced Richmond and George Mason with a total of 137 points, and the men’s team mirrored the women’s with a decisive win, scoring 88 points to top George Mason’s 31.

Sophomore Rochelle Evans began the individual wins on the field, finishing first in the hammer throw and the shot put. She threw the hammer 42.74 meters for the win, then notched a distance of 13.70 meters in the shot put, good enough for another 10 points for the Tribe.

Sophomore Katie Johnson won the javelin competition with a throw of 40.12 meters and threw a personal record of 38.50 meters in the discus. Freshman Susan Philbrick came first in the triple jump with a jumping distance of 11.02 meters.

On the men’s side, freshman Derek O’Connell placed first in the pole vault with a height of 4.90 meters. His impressive score also allowed him to qualify for the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America Championships. Freshman Lucas Wratscho followed O’Connell, placing third overall with a height of 4.65 meters. Freshman Dominic Burkett won the long jump event with a distance of 6.60 meters. Sophomore Taylor Frenia earned back-to-back wins in shot put and discus, throwing 16.15 meters and 46.13 meters, respectively. Sophomore Bob Smutsky won in the javelin event, throwing 64.38 meters. Following Smutsky in the placing, freshman Tucker Rizzi threw a distance of 54.58, his personal best.

While the throwers and jumpers thrived on the field, the runners won points on the track. Senior Olivia Harding finished in first place in the 800-meter race with a time of 2:19.68. Junior Brittany Biagi finished first in the 400-meter race with a time of 1:05.51. The Tribe swept the top three spots in the 1500-meter race; sophomore Megan McGovern won with a time of 4:32.87, followed by junior Carolyn Hennessey and sophomore Erica Amatori.

The male athletes also excelled on the track. Burkett won the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.35 seconds. Smutsky ran a time of 22.78 seconds in the 200-meter dash, good enough to claim the win in the finals. In his first outdoor meet, freshman Ryan Thomas finished first in the 400-meter dash with a time of 54.77 seconds. In the long distance races, redshirt-sophomore Nathaniel Hermsmeier ran a time of 8:28.28 in the 3000-meter run. Finally, in the relay races, the team of sophomore Jomar Aryee, senior David Gunnerson, freshman Alex Hedrick, and freshman Troy Sevachko finished the meet on a strong note, with a first-place finish in the 4×400-meter race with a time of 3:27.82.

Sophomore Emily Stites and senior Elaina Balouris took 6th and 14th, respectively, in the 5,000 meters at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Indoor Finals the prior weekend, but did not compete in the Tribe Invitational. The two probably won’t return to action until the Colonial Relays.

The Tribe will head to Richmond, Va. this weekend to compete in the Fred Hardy Invitational, seeking to build on its momentum from the Tribe Invitational. The Tribe will return to Zable Stadium April 3 for the 49th Annual Colonial Relays. Last year, the meet brought in 31 teams. The Tribe women’s team finished sixth, while the men’s team finished seventh.


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