For sophomores Jonah Edwards and Funmilayo Lawal, last weekend was a great one to be a Kenyon track and field superstar.
During Saturday’s Kenyon College Classic, the two were part of the group that led the women’s team to take second by a single point to the Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) Battling Bishops. Though the Lords took seventh of eight teams, their battle on Saturday was nothing but spirited.
“We don’t have the depth that the women do,” Head Coach Duane Gomez said of the men’s team. “We have a lot of young ones that are doing really well, but they’re not quite up there to really score points yet.”
The Ladies, with a team of 39 athletes, had 13 top-three finishes and earned a total of 127 points. The Lords, with a team of 26, finished with three top-three finishes, including a season-best, first-place finish by Sam Lagasse ’16 in the 3,000-meter race with a time of 8:52.48.
While the Lords took seventh, the team looks forward to their outdoor season, during which Gomez expects them to enter a stride and improve as runners overcome their injuries from earlier in the season.
According to Gomez, first years like walk-on Kevin Towle have done a lot of good for the team, surprising Gomez with their success. Gomez expects them to continue improving their outdoor track and field season come March.
“We’ve been trying to play catch up, and I feel like we’re finally catching up,” Gomez said about the the team’s being slightly behind in their training schedule due to a longer winter break than usual.
Yet for some athletes, including Lawal, the strange season schedule had no discernible effect on their performance.
“She’s just improved so much,” Gomez said of Lawal. “She’s been moving up, and now she’s among the top tier — you know, qualifying for [Division-III] All-Ohio.” Lawal took first place in the women’s shot put this weekend with a distance of 11.61 meters — 2.17 meters ahead of her closest competitor.
“I was actually scared,” Lawal said. “I’ve been PR-ing [setting a personal record] every meet, and I really wanted to PR this meet, since it was home. When they said 11.61 freaking meters I was like, ‘No way!’ It was awesome.”
While both teams worked hard, some runners left disappointed. Nat Fox ’16 lost the mile race by one-and-a-half seconds with a time of of 4:34.54.
“I’ve seen my teammates (both Lords and Ladies) compete with more heart and determination these past few weeks, and the results are astounding,” Edwards wrote in an email to the Collegian.
On Saturday, Edwards took first in the women’s 60-meter dash with a time of 7.97 seconds, exactly 0.12 seconds ahead of her closest competitor, OWU’s Amanda Clay. “At every meet, at least one person gets a new PR and/or school record,” Edwards said. “I see the same thing happening at conferences.”
On March 4 and 5, Kenyon will be hosting the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) indoor track championships at the Kenyon Athletic Center.