Thursday, March 30 – Saturday, April 1, William and Mary hosted and competed in the 57th annual Colonial Relays at the Dan Stimson Throwing Area and Zable Stadium’s Cary Field in Williamsburg, Virginia.
This three-day meet marks the Tribe’s second outdoor event of the season. Building on strong performances in last week’s Dan Stimson Memorial Invitational, the Tribe finished sixth in the men’s overall team rankings and first in the women’s overall team rankings.
William and Mary was one of 59 programs competing at the Colonial Relays, 51 of which sent both men’s and women’s teams.
The meet commenced with the men’s hammer throw on Thursday afternoon, which saw freshman Jason Nwosu set a new personal PR in the event. Nwosu’s 50.41m (165-5) performance enters him into the Tribe’s all-time performers list.
As other events continued on day two of the meet, William and Mary looked to capitalize on momentum from Nwosu’s stellar performance.
Junior Jackson Cooley headlined the Tribe’s second day performances, capturing second place and setting a new William and Mary record in the 100m dash. Setting a new PR for the second week in the row, Cooley’s 10.53 second performance topped his 10.65 time from last weekend’s Dan Stimson Memorial Invitational and William and Mary’s program record of 10.58 set in 2016.
Junior Chris Arias also shined in day two of the meet, claiming first place in the javelin with a 64.15m performance. Arias’ next closest competitor finished at 56.50m.
In the team rankings, William and Mary remained sixth with 26 points following the second day of the meet. Columbia led the competition with 55 points, trailed by Wagner and Brown, with 42 and 41 points, respectively.
On the women’s side of the second day, the Tribe impressed with multiple record-breaking performances.
Senior Amaya Johnson set the William and Mary program record in the 100m dash with a time of 11.96, earning her seventh place. Other Tribe sprinters also impressed in the 100m dash event, with impressive 12.04 and 12.06 finishes from sophomores Melissa Cunningham and Anna Kessler, respectively. These performances place Cunningham and Kessler in the top five William and Mary all-time records in the event.
Freshman Catherine Garrison also made Tribe history in the 3000m steeplechase event, setting a new freshman record for the event. Garrison finished first with a 10:28.51 performance and bested the previous freshman-best mark of 10:31.47, set in 2008.
In the 400m dash, junior Lizzy Gregory became the first Tribe athlete to win the event at the Colonial Relays in the meet’s 57 year history. Gregory’s time of 55.09 was the program’s third fastest finish. She now owns three of the top five William and Mary finishes in the event.
Freshman Sofia Istnick shined in the distance events, capturing first place in the 5000m invitational with a time of 16:28.59. This performance was a PR that notched her into 13th on the Tribe’s all-time performer’s list.
In the field events, junior Liv Cantby took first in the javelin invitational with a 44.26m performance. Sophomore Sophie Fernandez and junior Olesya Sitkowski finished one and two in the pole vault invitational at 3.85m and 3.75m. Fernandez’s performance matched the fourth best record in program history. Senior Keeley Suzenski also impressed with a solid showing in the hammer throw, taking second place with a best throw of 56.65m.
At the end of day two, William and Mary sat in first of overall team rankings with 97.50 points, followed by Bucknell and Brown with 52.50 and 50 points, respectively.
In the third and final day of the meet, Nwosu continued his impressive performance, claiming third in the shot put invitational with 15.51m and fourth in the discus invitational with 45.59m.
The squad of senior Daniel Layton, sophomores Cole Harris and J.P. Mintz and junior Ethan Buenviaje set the ninth fastest 4×200 relay time in William and Mary history with a 1:31.56. Furthermore, the quartet of senior Jacob Jones, freshman Luke Henkel and seniors T.J. Corliss and Evan Goodell placed third in the 4×1500 relay with a 15:59.67 performance.
The Tribe wrapped up the three day meet finishing in sixth place out of 38 teams in the men’s overall team rankings with 48 points. Columbia placed first with 107 points, Bucknell was second with 81 points and Brown followed in third with 76 points.
On the women’s side of the final day, the Tribe’s sprinters once again impressed with outstanding performances.
In the 4×100 relay event, Johnson, Gregory, Kessler and Cunningham set an all-time William and Mary record while also capturing the Tribe’s first ever win in the event at the Colonial Relays with a time of 46.18. The 4×400 relay group of Johnson, Gregory, senior Carly Swierbut and sophomore Emily Ervin also set a new all-time William and Mary record with a 3:38.53 – the third consecutive year the Tribe finished first in the event at the Colonial Relays.
On the backs of many other incredible performances, the Tribe finished first place in the women’s overall team rankings with 136.50 points. Thirty three teams scored points in the meet, with William and Mary comfortably finishing first for the first time since 2009. Brown finished in second with 91 points, followed by Hampton in third with 87 points.
Both the men’s and women’s teams will look to continue their impressive showings at the Duke Invitational on Sunday, April 7 at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.