Track and Field: Stites shatters school record, leads at Mt. SAC relays

William and Mary took first place at the Christopher Newport University Captain’s Classic and posted a number of qualifying marks at the Larry Ellis Invitational at Princeton. Despite the success, those accomplishments paled in comparison to the individual efforts put forth by three distance runners at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif.

Freshman Trevor Sleight joined two of the program’s most talented and decorated runners — senior Elaina Balouris and sophomore Emily Stites — in competing in the 10,000-meter race at the prestigious meet.

Stites came within 300 meters of claiming the women’s top section, finishing second overall with a time of 32 minutes, 41 seconds. The time marks the best in program history by more than a minute; Stites blew past her own mark by 90 seconds. She now holds the school record in both the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter races.

In addition to rewriting records, Stites qualified for the United States Track and Field National Championships this summer. Stites’s run currently ranks third among all National Collegiate Athletic Association times and tenth in the world this year. Stites owns the fastest American time in 2014 to date.

While Stites competed for the top spot, Balouris led for much of the beginning stages of the race. Crossing the line in 33:31.59, Balouris finished fourth overall, 12 seconds ahead of her personal best — the school record entering the race. Balouris’s time ranks her No. 14 among 10,000-meter NCAA athletes.

Sleight ran the first 10,000-meter race of his collegiate career, finishing No. 23 in the Olympic Development heat. Sleight crossed in 30:40.35, good for an Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America qualification.

Back on the east coast, the College’s track and field programs split between the Christopher Newport University Captain’s Classic and Larry Ellis Invitational at Princeton. Both the men and women won the Captain’s Classic, while a number of athletes posted high marks at the Larry Ellis Invitational, including an IC4A qualifying time.

In Newport News, Va., freshman Savanna Craib finished second in the high jump with a 1.60-meter jump to lead the women’s side. Sophomores Katie Johnston and Rochelle Evans took first and second, respectively, in the discus throw. Rounding out the field events, freshman Susannah Philbrick took the second spot in long jump with a 5.03-meter mark.

Sophomore Becca Eudailey won the 3,000-meter race in 10:25.25, just ahead of second-place finisher freshman Carolyn Cunniffee, who crossed in 10:32.84. Sophomore Breanna Brukalo, freshman Erika Garrison, junior Brittany Biagi and freshman Laura Klosterman took second in the 4×100-meter relay with a time of 50.29 seconds.

At Princeton, freshman Molly Applegate finished third in the 3,000-meter race, posting a time of 10:12.86. Fellow freshman Rachel Rabbitt crossed in 10:15.83, earning the fifth position.

On the men’s side, the College defeated Longwood and Hampton at the Captain’s Classic. Freshman Reider Strehler took the 3,000-meter race in 9:04.67. Sophomore Taylor Frenia won the shot put with a put of 15.38 meters. Frenia placed second in the hammer, throwing 49.05 meters.

At Princeton, senior Rad Gunzenhauser led with a 14:23.92 5,000-meter run, qualifying for the IC4A Championships.

Both the men and women will return to action Thursday, competing in the Penn Relay Carnival in Philadelphia, Pa.


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