By Anna Dunlavey
The Kenyon squad was smaller than usual at the Indoor Track and Field All-Ohio Championships at Otterbein University. Only those who had qualifying times were required to run, as this meet was the championships for the region. However, even though they did not have as many competitors, the Lords and Ladies did what Head Coach Duane Gomez said they came to do — they scored in their events.
The Ladies placed 12th and the Lords placed 15th out of the 18 schools present. “It was nice seeing all the competition that we have and ranking ourselves compared to them and seeing what we have to improve on,” Jonah Edwards ’18 said.
It was the first All-Ohio Championship for Edwards, but she looked in her element. The first-year runner placed third in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.97 seconds, which earned her a trophy in a ceremony for the runners who came in the top three in any event at the championship. The top eight runners in each event score points for their team, but only the top three runners in each race are named to the All-Ohio team. “I was very excited,” Edwards, who also placed fifth in the 200-meter dash, said.
The highest finisher on the men’s side was Sam Lagasse ’16, in the 3,000-meter race. He was battling with a runner from Ohio Wesleyan for the entirety of the run, and in the end settled for second in what Gomez said was a “photo finish.”
However, Lagasse did break a personal record with that finish. His time of 8:42.38 was about five seconds faster than his previous best time. Lagasse was happy with his run. “It was probably one of the most tactical races I’ve run,” he said, “but I think I ran really smart.”
The relay teams on both sides displayed their usual strength. The 4×200-meter relay team, which consisted of Edwards, Gillian Blackwell ’18, Subei Kyle ’17 and Emma Levant ’16 finished fifth with a time of 1:48.20.
The distance medley relay (DMR) team of Kyle, Aisha Simon ’15, Ellen Corcoran ’18 and Samantha White ’16 also scored. They finished sixth with a time of 13:08.37, about 16 seconds faster than their previous record time. “The competition makes you run faster,” Gomez said, noting that many people on the team beat their personal records by a lot.
The women’s 4×400-meter relay also qualified for the All-Ohio Championships, but after Kyle, who was also supposed to run in that race, twisted her ankle in one of her finishes, the team had to scratch. “We just felt it was too early in the year to be pushing it,” Gomez said, noting that the team still has to compete in the outdoor season.
The men’s DMR team also scored despite some changes to the lineup. When a team qualifies for All-Ohio, the same runners who ran the qualifying time do not have to be the ones who compete at All-Ohio. This meant that when two Kenyon runners were unable to attend the meet, Tanner Zaas ’15 was allowed to join the team. “You just do what you can in a situation like that,” Gomez said.
Although he was nervous about his first time in the DMR being at the championship level, Zaas said it was his job as a team member to step up where he was needed. “You show up,” Zass said. “That’s what you do. That’s why we’re here. That’s why we run.” Zaas joined the team of Lagasse, Nat Fox ’16 and Alton Barbehenn ’18, and they finished the race in seventh place, with a time of 10:42.02, which ended up being another record time for the team. “Everybody ran really well,” Lagasse said. “It was a good showing, all things considered.
Next weekend, the team will host their first home meet of the season. “Everybody likes a home meet,” Zaas said, noting that unlike other sports, track only competes at home twice a year, once indoors and once outdoors. Lagasse agreed, saying, “It’s nice to compete on the track that you practice on from day to day and also to have your friends come down to support you.”
Gomez also noted that in this meet, unlike All-Ohio, the entire team will be competing. “We’re getting the whole team back together,” Gomez said.