On Saturday, the Kenyon track and field teams set a slew of personal and program records at the recently renamed Duane Gomez Invitational, honoring the team’s former coach who retired in 2020 after 37 years on the job. The women’s team finished first with 150 points, just one point above second place, while the men’s team came in second place with a total of 151 points.
The women’s team racked up five first-place finishes and secured first place overall, thanks in part to Paula Sorić ’25. In her first outdoor meet of the season, Sorić set a new personal and Kenyon outdoor triple jump record with a distance of 11.70 meters, blowing her previous record of 11.48 meters out of the water. Sorić also ran in the 4×100-meter relay, in which Kenyon finished second. Alongside Maya Virdell ’24, Grace Neuger ’24 and Talulla Sheridan ’25, the four Owls ran the lap in 52.14 seconds.
For her performances, Sorić picked up the NCAC Outdoor Field Women’s Athlete of the Week title. In an email to the Collegian, Sorić described how it felt to receive the award. “This [award] means a lot to me because the Duane Gomez Invitational was my first outdoor meet this season; I was healing from some injuries leftover from the indoor season and it feels great to make such a good impression my first meet back in front of the home crowd.”
Kenyon’s other relay was the 4×400, in which Anna Brown ’26, Logan Vidal ’25, Virdell and Jean Cook ’26 finished in 52.14 seconds, good enough for first place.
Kenyon tacked on 38 points in the short distance events. Sheridan came in third in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes with times of 13.47 and 28.26, respectively. Neuger finished third in the 400-meter hurdles in 1:14.27.
In the mid- and long-distance events, Denna Medrano ’23 finished in first in the 800-meter race with a time of 2:29.58. In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Ellianne Retzlaff ’25 and Isabel Prosnitz ’26 grabbed the first two podium spots with times of 12:43.71 and 13:00.65, respectively. In the 1,500-meter race, Brown added another first-place finish for the Owls, finishing the race in 4:53.00, a season best for Kenyon, while Vidal earned a third-place finish with a time of 5:09.89. In the 5,000-meter race, Ella Wilson ’23 came in first with a time of 18:47.95, a Kenyon season best.
On the field, Erika Conant ’23 added 14 points to the Kenyon total in the triple jump and long jump events. In the triple jump, Conant leapt 10.45 meters, a career best and good enough for second place, while she came in third in the long jump with a distance of 5.07 meters, just one centimeter behind second place.
The men’s team performed strongly across the field. In the short distance events, Tapiwa Gono Phiri ’25 continued his stellar form by winning the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.83, a new Wilder Track record. Gono Phiri then came in third in the 200-meter dash in 22.94 seconds. In the 4×100-meter relay, Gono Phiri joined forces with Julius Thompson ’26, Collin Witt ’24 and Jonathan Turner ’24, and the group came first with a time of 43.62. Later on, Witt finished in second place in the 400-meter dash with a time of 50.50.
Elsewhere on the track, Kenyon’s home advantage proved decisive as the Owls’ depth helped the team rack up points. In the 1,500-meter race, Peter Bernhardt ’25 finished first with a time of 4:06.73, while Jack Burczak ’23 was right behind him in second with a time of 4:07.37. In the 5,000-meter run, Sam Rabieh ’25 grabbed the gold with a time of 15:41.02, before Henry Rodrigues ’26 secured silver in 16:21.80.
On the field, Riley Orth ’24 once again shone in the throwing circle. In his first event, Orth placed first in the shot put event with a distance of 14.69 meters. In the discus throw, Samuel Eluemunoh ’26 came in second with a distance of 42.56 meters, while Orth came in third with a 41.55 meter throw. Orth then reset the Kenyon outdoor track and field hammer-throw record for the third meet in a row, coming in first with a toss of 43.98 meters. For his impressive performances on Saturday, Orth was named the NCAC Outdoor Field Men’s Athlete of the Week.
On April 28, the Owls will return to action at the Big Red Invite, hosted by Denison University. It will be the final meet before the beginning of the NCAC outdoor championships.
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