Section: Sports

Track and field divides and conquers at Denison, Hillsdale

By Anna Dunlavey

The men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams were spread out across the midwest in the weekend leading up to the All-Ohio Championships in Westerville, Ohio. The majority of the Lords and Ladies were at Denison University’s Bob Shannon Invitational, where they both placed eighth out of ten teams. Two runners, Colton Orr ’18 and Emma Levant ’16, got started on All-Ohio competition early when they started their heptathlon events on Sunday. Meanwhile, Nat Fox ’16 and Sam Lagasse ’16 were invited to participate in the Hillsdale College Wide-Track Classic in Hillsdale, Mich.

Head Track and Field Coach Duane Gomez said that Lagasse and Fox, the only representatives from a Division-III school at the Wide-Track Classic, opted to run in that meet “to get better competition so they could both run a faster time.” Lagasse and Fox are two of the fastest runners in the conference, and both easily place in the top three in North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) meets. For example, at last weekend’s Fighting Scots Invitational, Lagasse’s finishing mile time was a full 10 seconds faster than the second-place finisher, and Fox also finished near the head of the pack in third. “In the 5K at Denison, they both would have won by really long ways,” Gomez said. “Sometimes, especially for Division-III runners, to get faster times, you have to go to the Division-I meets.”

Lagasse ran in the first heat of the 5,000-meter race, and placed fourth out of 10 runners with a time of 15:17.05. Fox, who ran in the second heat, placed third out of thirteen competitors with a time of 16:06.07.

Fox and Lagasse both ran their fastest times in the event this season, and Lagasse went on to be named the NCAC Distance Runner of the Week for his performance. Although he won this award once in last year’s outdoor track season, this is Lagasse’s first time winning the award in the indoor season.

Kenyon had success in the 5,000-meter run back in Ohio as well. At the Bob Shannon Invitational, Andres Herrera ’16 finished seventh in the race with a personal record time. After about two years of trying to break 17 minutes, Herrera crossed the finish line in 16:59.58. Eric Thornton ’18 finished right behind Herrera in eighth in the 5,000 meters at 17:03.01. Subei Kyle ’17 also hit a personal record in her leg of the distance medley relay (DMR), the 400-meter. The relay finished in second place with a time of 13:37.94.

Out of Kenyon’s usually dominant relay teams, only the women’s DMR competed this weekend. This was to give the runners a chance to rest for next weekend, as five relays — both the men’s and women’s DMR, the men’s and women’s 4×200-meters, and the women’s 4×400-meters — qualified for the All-Ohio championships. “A lot of people use this meet to qualify for All-Ohio,” Captain Aisha Simon ’15 said. “People were focusing more on the individual events than the relays,” she said.

Kyle placed fifth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 27.69, and CeCe Dye ’18 came in sixth in the mile with a time of 5:55.77. Devron Martin ’18 competed in the triple jump, and placed fifth after reaching 9.85 meters. On the men’s side, Noah Winters ’15 had a strong day, finishing third in the 400-meter dash with a time of 52.04 and sixth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.47. Kevin Phillips ’15 placed sixth in the high jump, reaching 1.68 meters.

Levant and Orr were also present at Denison over the weekend, although they were beginning their events in the All-Ohio heptathlon.   In their first time competing in the heptathlon, Levant currently holds 10th place, and Orr holds eighth.  “For them to get out there and do that for the first time, they had a really good start,” Simon said.

Next weekend, the team members who qualified for the All-Ohio Championships will travel to Westerville to compete. “We want to score,” Gomez said of the team’s hopes for the meet. “Our main goal is to score.”

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