Section: Sports

Relay team breaks 30-year-old 4×400-meter school record

Relay team breaks 30-year-old 4×400-meter school record

Witt was a member of the record-breaking team. | COURTESY OF DAVID HEASLEY

Over the weekend, Kenyon’s track and field teams traveled to Denison University to participate in the Bob Shannon Invitational. Although the men’s team came in sixth out of seven teams with 31 points and the women’s team came in eighth out of eight teams with 17 points, the Owls performed well in specific events. 

The relay events were where the men’s team shone, even setting a new Kenyon record in the 4×400-meter event. Emmanuel Makelele ’25, Tapiwa Gono Phiri ’25, Julius Thompson ’26 and Collin Witt ’24 broke the college record with a time of 3:31.43, good enough for second place in the event. Their time was just 0.24 seconds faster than the original record set in 1991. 

Witt describes his team as happy when they found out about breaking the long-standing Kenyon record. “It was a really surreal experience finding out about breaking the record,” he wrote in an email to the Collegian. “We have a great dynamic on our relay team; everyone is willing to step up to the occasion and run their best.” Witt is also optimistic about the future and believes they may reset the record soon. “I could not have done it without them, and because this is a pretty young relay team, I am excited to improve upon our marks for the foreseeable future in both relays.”

Individually, Gono Phiri came in third in the 60-meter dash in 7.06 seconds, while Witt came in sixth in the 400-meter with a time of 53.99. Kenyon’s other second-place finish came in the distance medley event, run by Peter Bernhardt ’25, Jimmy Baker ’26, Robert Enslein ’26 and Keegan Minahan ’24. Their time of 11:00.67 earned the Owls eight points. 

The women’s team secured the Owls’ only first-place finish during the meet. Anna Brown ’26, Denna Medrano ’23, Lorien Kauffman ’24 and Ella Wilson ’23 ran the distance medley relay with a time of 13:18.84, earning the Owls ten points. Brown and Maya Virdell ’24 each set personal bests in their events. Brown came in seventh in the 400-meter event with a time of 1:03.61, while Virdell ran the 200-meter in 28.33 seconds to finish seventh. Finally, Erika Conant ’23 earned the final three points with a sixth-place finish in the long jump event with a distance of 4.82 meters. 

The Owls’ next meet is the All-Ohio Championship at Wittenberg University on Saturday, where they will send select qualifiers.


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