By Ian Round | Staff Writer
Despite record-breaking performances and personal bests, both the men’s and women’s indoor track teams placed last out of five teams at the Fighting Scots Invitational at the College of Wooster on Feb. 1. Individual triumphs, however, included Sam Lagasse ’16’s win in his second race and second personal record of the indoor track season, and Sierra DeLeon ’14, who won two races and placed second in another two.
“It was a good meet. I’m pretty happy with it,” Head Coach Duane Gomez said.
DeLeon broke her own school record in the women’s 60-meter hurdles with a time of 9.18 seconds. She broke another Kenyon record with her second-place finish in the 60-meter dash at 8.03 seconds.
She also won the long jump and came in second in the 200-meter dash. For her performance this week, she was named North Coast Athletic Conference Athlete of the Week.
Other Ladies also put strong performances on the board. Jenna Willett ’14 placed second and Lizzie Halper ’15 placed fourth in the women’s 5,000-meter run. In the women’s mile run, Tory Bruch ’14, Aisha Simon ’15 and Kerry Strader ’14 came in third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Gomez said Bruch and Simon “were both first and second until the last 60 yards, then got outkicked.” He added that there were other similar instances where runners faded in the last stretch.
“We need to work on our kicks a little bit, but it shows that we’re aggressive,” he said. “I would rather see them go out strong and get outkicked then hang back and finish in the same place.”
On the men’s side, Lagasse, who won the men’s 3,000-meter run and set a personal record at the Ohio Wesleyan University Triangular Meet Jan. 17, won the men’s 5,000-meter run, setting another personal record at 15:23.18.
Lagasse said he was placed at the end of the starting line, and started fast, “to make sure that I wouldn’t get caught behind the pack. When we came around to finish the first lap, I was leading by quite a bit. … I wasn’t too concerned about having gone out hard.”
Gomez described Lagasse’s lead in less modest terms.
“The first mile he had a hundred-yard lead. He was running by himself,” Gomez said. “He just went into a sprint, basically. The announcers are announcing the race, and they’re going, ‘that’s a really fast pace, that’s really fast.’”
Lagasse attributed his success in part to a “more positive mental attitude” than he had during the fall cross country season.
“To be honest, I’m thrilled with how my season’s going,” he said. “I’m happier and more confident in my running.”
Lagasse said earning a personal record is “like a small, unexpected affirmation of the all the hard work you’re putting in.”
Other Lords with notable runs included Nat Fox ’16 and Peter Granville ’16, who came in third and fifth in the men’s mile run, respectively. Ulises Arbelo ’16 and Willy Friedlander ’14 placed second and fifth in the men’s 800-meter run. Gomez said Noah Winters ’15 and Lucas Herweyer ’15 were sick and missed the meet, but based on their individual performances at prior meets could have earned Kenyon more points.
The teams will run at Denison University Feb. 8. It will be their last chance to qualify for the All-Ohio Championships at Otterbein College on Feb. 15.