On Saturday, the Kenyon track and field teams returned to competition for the first time in 2024. The women’s team took home fourth place at the Fighting Scots Invitational, while the men’s team finished in fifth.
Women: As she has many times in her Kenyon career, Paula Sorić ’25 led the way for the Owls. The junior picked up two first-place finishes for Kenyon: In the triple jump, Sorić beat the competition by leaps and bounds, with her winning jump of 11.30 meters beating second place by nearly 1.5 meters. She was also dominant in the long jump, recording her winning distance of 5.17 meters on her second try. Sorić credited her training over winter break for helping her find success. “I think what helped me most was a good week of training coming from winter break. I was able to do some workouts at home so it wasn’t hard to pick up the pace once we resumed official practice,” she wrote in an email to the Collegian. “I’m happy to see my own work reflected in the team’s total and help us advance.”
Anna Brown ’26 recorded Kenyon’s best result on the track in the 800-meter race. She won the event with a time of 2:23.65. Brown’s teammates provided her with the boost she needed to take the top podium spot: “Before, during and after the race, I felt utterly supported by my teammates, which helped me enjoy the race instead of worrying or stressing out,” she wrote in an email to the Collegian. “During the race, I wasn’t worried about my competitors behind me and I just enjoyed the feeling of running fast.” Lorien Kauffman ’24 recorded a time of 2:31.22, good for a third-place finish.
In the 60-meter race, Caroline Hitsman ’27 tied for third place with a time of 8.41 seconds. She also ran the 200-meter in 28.49 seconds and finished in fourth place. Olivia Ide ’27 earned the Owls a key second-place finish in the mile with her time of 5.32.83, half a second behind first place. Eva Shannon ’27 and Jada Swearingen ’24 took home fourth and fifth place respectively (5:48.60, 5:52.37). Kenyon finished the day with the 4×400-meter relay. Brown, Rigby Zentner ’27, Caeleigh Stamper ’26 and Kauffman earned fourth place with a time of 4:31.44.
Men: Riley Orth ’24 earned a pair of first-place finishes for the Owls, while also breaking a Kenyon record in the process. On Orth’s sixth and final attempt in the weight throw, he recorded a 14.19 meter result. He won the event and broke Dylan Brintwood ’25’s record from the 2022 season (13.72 meters). For Orth, the record was particularly meaningful because of an injury that took him out of competition last season: “It was fun to break the record because I wasn’t able to throw weight last season because I was still injured,” he wrote in an email to the Collegian. “Although I want to get a lot of points to help my team, my main goal is to improve on my previous best throws. My goal is to get a little better every time I compete, so… breaking the records is a nice bonus.” Orth also won the shot put event with a throw of 14.32 meters. For his success at the invitational, Orth won NCAC Field Athlete of the Week honors. J’Sun Gardner ’26 came in ninth place (10.82 meters) and Samuel Eluemunoh ’26 finished in 10th (10.72 meters) in the shot put.
On the track, Samuel Rabieh ’25 earned Kenyon’s best result with a second-place finish in the 3,000-meter race. His time of 9:10.18 was a career-best by 14 seconds. Rabieh hopes that his strong finish can translate to success as the season continues. “This season, I’m looking to go from an ‘also-ran [in the race]’ to a contender at conference, and I think this is a good first step,” he wrote in an email to the Collegian. “I trust that if I keep digging for my best, I’ll eventually mine some diamonds.” Henry Rodrigues ’26 and Joshua Breard ’26 took home fifth and eighth place, respectively, in the 3,000-meter.
Tapiwa Gono Phiri ’25 finished in third place in the 60-meter race with a time of 7.13 seconds and Kendall Weaver ’27 crossed the finish line 0.06 seconds behind him to earn fifth place. Collin Witt ’24 earned another third-place finish for the Owls, running the 200-meter in 23.33 seconds. In the one-mile race, Arthur Wellenstein ’27 and Peter Bernhardt ’25 came in eighth and ninth place with times of 4:35.44 and 4:38.03, respectively. In the 4×200-meter relay, Witt, Gono Phiri, Weaver and Jonathan Turner ’24 finished in fourth place with a time of 1:33.08. Finally, Witt, Gono Phiri, William Wilson ’25 and Turner brought home third place in the 4×400-meter relay (3:41.04).
Both teams will return to action on Saturday when Kenyon will compete in Wittenberg University’s Steemer Showcase. Orth and Brown believe that the Owls can find success through lifting each other up. “As long as our team continues to support each other like we have in the last two meets, I think we are on track to have one of our best seasons to date,” Orth said. Brown added: “If we take pride in our team and sport each time we step on the track, either during practice or at meets, all the little pieces will fall into place.”