By Ian Round | Staff Writer
Sierra DeLeon ’14, Jenna Willett ’14 and Sam Lagasse ’16 continued their record-breaking season this weekend. Willett and Lagasse broke the Kenyon records in the women’s and men’s 10,000-meter on April 12 at the Bucknell University Bison Outdoor Classic. DeLeon broke her own record in the women’s 100-meter hurdles at the All-Ohio Championships at Ohio Wesleyan University.
“I think it was a great experience for both of them,” said Head Coach Duane Gomez, who traveled the six hours to Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa. with Lagasse and Willett. “They couldn’t have run any faster.”
The Bucknell meet featured NCAA Division I runners and the top Division III runners in the country. Lagasse finished 28th out of 38 runners, breaking Ben Hildebrand’s ’02 2002 Kenyon record by about 29 seconds with a time of 31:01.02. Willett placed 11th out of 37 and broke her own school record, which she set in 2012, by more than 45 seconds with a time of 36:27.43.
Gomez said the two ran at Bucknell because the field was more competitive than at the All-Ohio Championships. He said runners move faster when they’re in groups of faster people.
“There’s no way they could have run that fast at All-Ohio,” he explained.
“The competition really pushed me,” Willett said. “I was hoping to set a new record since I had the previous record from my sophomore year, and I feel like I am in better shape now than I was back then.”
Willett said she “sort of teamed up for the first half of the race” with a runner from Denison University. “Since it is such a long race it really helps to have someone to run with,” Willett said. “That’s something that I love about running. We were both helping each other out so that we could both run faster times.”
Both 10,000-meter races at Bucknell were at night. Gomez said the women’s heat began around 9:40 p.m. and the men’s began around 10:20 p.m. He said running under the lights is always exciting, partly because the air is cooler at night than during the day.
“You just feel like you’re flying the entire way when you’re running at night,” Gomez said.
As for the rest of the team, Lizzie Halper ’15 and Abby Arace ’16 finished fourth and fifth in the women’s 10,000-meter at the All-Ohio Championships.
“Abby and Lizzie ran the perfect race,” Gomez said. “They just followed the race plan. It was great teamwork to run side-by-side for 25 laps.”
Despite individual successes, the men’s team placed last out of 20 teams at the meet while the women’s team placed 10th out of 19 teams. Nat Fox ’16 had the highest finish of any Lord, finishing 11th in the 800-meter run.
The teams will return home to the Kenyon Spring Invitational this Saturday.
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