The Kenyon track and field teams opened their outdoor spring seasons at the unscored Bob Kahn Invitational hosted by Oberlin College on Saturday. The Owls then traveled to Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) to compete in the Marv Frye Invite a week later, where both teams came in sixth.
At Oberlin, the men’s team’s best finish came in the 4×100-meter event. Emmanuel Makelele ’25, Collin Witt ’24, Julius Thompson ’26 and Tapiwa Gono Phiri ’25, the same four runners who set the Kenyon record for the 4×400-meter earlier in the season, combined to finish second at Oberlin with a time of 42.70. Witt and Gono Phiri earned additional podium finishes in other events. Witt came in third in the 400-meter with a time of 51.74, while Gono Phiri finished third in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.24. Elsewhere, Sam Rabieh ’25 and Owen Rodstrom ’26 placed fourth and fifth in the 3000-meter race with times of 10:23.34 and 10:32.52, respectively.
At OWU, the Owls excelled on the track and on the field. Riley Orth ’24, after recovering from shoulder surgery that sidelined him for the indoor season, had an amazing first meet back. Orth won the shot put event with a distance of 14.73 meters, almost a foot more than the second place distance. He also came in fifth place in the discus throw with a distance of 39.75 meters. Finally, Orth set a new Kenyon outdoor track and field record in the hammer throw with a distance of 43.68 meters. Orth bested the previous record, which he set in May of last year, by more than three meters.
In an email to the Collegian, Orth described how it felt to return to the field in such an emphatic fashion: “After making a full recovery, I couldn’t have asked for a better first meet. Getting first in shotput and beating my own school record by three meters was honestly very surprising but I was ecstatic.”
Gono Phiri also continued his strong start to the spring season, as he came in second place in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes with times of 10.92 and 22.16 seconds, respectively. Peter Bernhardt ’25 and Jack Burczak ’23 came third and fourth, respectively, in the 5000-meter events.
The women’s team performed equally well across the two meets and notched eight top-five finishes. At Oberlin, Anna Brown ’26 came in second in the 800-meter race (2:23.75), Kenyon’s best individual performance on the day. Logan Vidal ’25 came in fifth in the same event with a time of 2:28.21. Brown, Vidal, Denna Medrano ’23 and Jean Cook ’26 ran the 4×400-meter relay together and combined for a time of 4:23. 23, good enough for a fourth-place finish. The Owls’ other relay event, composed of Erika Conant ’23, Grace Neuger ’24, Alina Secrest ’25 and Talulla Sheridan ’25, also came in fourth in the 4×100-meter relay with a time of 53.77. Finally, Maya Virdell ’24 came fifth in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:14.01 to round out a productive day for the Owls.
At OWU, Isabel Prosnitz ’26 came third in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 13:16.64, while Brown and Ella Wilson ’23 finished fifth and sixth in the mile. Brown finished with a time of 5:26.05, and Wilson was five seconds behind with a time of 5:31.35, a personal best. Finally, on the field, Conant came in second in the long jump event with a leap of 5.10 meters, a personal best.
On Saturday, the Owls will return to OWU to compete in the All-Ohio Championship, which begins at 10 a.m.
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