Section: Sports

Track and field heads to Wooster for first 2 invitationals

Track and field heads to Wooster for first 2 invitationals

Neuger earned a second-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles. | COURTESY OF MIKE MUNDEN

Men’s track and field

The men’s track and field team competed in two consecutive away meets at the College of Wooster over the past two weeks, coming third in the Wooster Invitational with 79 points and fifth in the Fighting Scots Invitational with 58 points. 

At the Wooster Invitational, Kenyon’s long distance runners excelled, specifically in the one-mile event. Peter Bernhardt ’25 came in first with a time of 4:34.60, his personal best, while Joshua Breard ’26 finished in third with a time of 4:40.70. Kenyon runners also took fourth through seventh place out of the 12 runners in the finals. In the 3000-meter event, Owen Rodstrom ’26 came third with a finish of 9:32.22. In the short-distance events, Emmanuel Makelele ’25 and Julius Thompson ’26 came fourth and fifth in the 60 meter with times of 7.18 and 7.21, respectively, while Thompson and Tapiwa Gono Phiri ’25 came third and fourth in the 200 meter with times of 23.15 and 23.45, respectively.  In the long jump, Ezekiel Kiwanuka ’26 came fifth with a jump of 5.90 meters.  

At the Fighting Scots Invitational, the sprinters were responsible for more than 60% of Kenyon’s points. Thompson and Gono Phiri came first and second in the 60-meter event, with improved times of 7.10 and 7.12 seconds, respectively. In the 200 meter, Gono Phiri made the podium again, coming in second place with a time of 23.33, as well as collecting second place in the 4×200-meter relay alongside Makelele, Thompson and Collin Witt ’24 with a time of 1:33.70.  The only other Kenyon runner to earn points was Bernhardt, who came fourth in the 800 meter. In field events, the Owls had an improved showing, as Joshua Greville ’26 came second in the triple jump with a distance of 12.33 meters and Samuel Eluemunoh ’26 came fourth in the shot put with a distance of 12.59 meters.

Thompson, one of the standouts in these early meets, described how he has been relishing his first meets as a collegiate athlete. “I’d say the biggest difference from high school is how the coaches treat their athletes,” he wrote in an email to the Collegian. “Coaches are much more open to what players need and want, and we are treated with much more respect.” Thompson is looking forward to the upcoming meets, as he says the team is constantly getting better. “We are working hard on the track and in the weight room to improve our form and our power output come meet day,” he said.  

Women’s track and field

The women’s track and field team competed in the same meets as the men’s team, placing fifth in the Wooster Indoor Invitational on Jan. 14 and placing sixth in the Fighting Scots Invite a week later on Jan. 21. 

At the Wooster Invitational, the Owls’ first scored meet of the season, Kenyon tallied up 45 team points across 11 events, with the help of a first-place finish from Paula Sorić ’25 and three additional third-place finishes. In the long jump event, Sorić jumped 4.82 meters, securing her second consecutive first-place finish of the season in that event. Anna Brown ’26 also had a productive meet, finishing third in the 800-meter event with a time of 2:31:39 while also coming third in the 4×400-meter relay alongside Denna Medrano ’23, Mary Shawaker ’23 and Caeleigh Stamper ’26. In the 4×200 meter, Kenyon placed third again with a time of 1:56:56. Medrano and Shawaker were joined by Alina Secrest ’25 and Grace Neuger ’24. 

A week later, the Owls returned to Wooster for the Fighting Scots Invite, where they placed sixth out of six teams with 44 points. Sorić came first in the triple jump, her other main event, with an 11.31-meter jump — more than a meter further than second place. Brown continued her strong form, coming second in the 400 meter with a time of 1:04:24, while Neuger secured another second-place finish for Kenyon with a time of 10.11 in the 60-meter hurdles event. Rounding out the Owls’ podium finishes was Erika Conant ’23, who tied for second but ultimately came in third in the long jump after a jump-off. 

The Owls have a busy schedule ahead of them, with a meet every weekend until the NCAA Indoor Championships in mid-March. Despite that fact, Sorić can’t help but get excited for what lies ahead. “I would say the team’s main goal is to be at our peak performance for the upcoming conference championship,” she wrote in an email to the Collegian. “In addition to that, I’m going after the NCAC indoor triple jump record [of 11.7031 meters] and hopefully punching a ticket to the national championship!” 

Kenyon’s next meet will be the Steemer Showcase, hosted by Wittenberg University, on Jan. 28, where both the men’s and women’s teams will be competing.


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