Section: Sports

Sorić competes at Nationals, track and field heads outside

On March 9, Paula Sorić ’25, the two-time reigning NCAC Field Athlete of the Year, competed in the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships in Virginia Beach. Elsewhere, both the men’s and the women’s track and field teams spent part of spring break in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and took part in the Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational.

Women: Sorić, who was the lone Kenyon competitor at Virginia Beach, made her Championship debut in the triple jump event after barely missing the cut-off last season. In an email to the Collegian, Sorić described the anticipation of competing on the biggest stage of indoor track and field. “To be completely honest, at first it felt very intimidating to be surrounded by so many amazing athletes,” she said. “After a couple of days of practice leading up to the day I competed, the anxiety wore off and I was very excited to jump!” In the qualifying round, Sorić faulted on her first attempt. But, she rebounded for her second attempt, and measured a distance of 11.39 meters. Her third attempt was just shy of the previous jump, with a distance of 11.31 meters. Despite not surpassing her personal best of 11.75 meters, Sorić ended up in 17th place out of 20 competitors. Ultimately, Sorić’s three jumps were not enough to qualify for the finals, in which the top nine participants moved on. 

Sorić expressed her satisfaction with her performance overall, especially due to some late adjustments. “My coach and I decided to take a leap and chose to jump from the 36-foot board (as opposed to the 32-foot board I usually take off from). I’ve never jumped off of a board that far and admittedly I was pretty nervous, but I never questioned my decision or my ability to do it,” she wrote. “This decision was my highlight of the weekend, and even though my marks were around the average to what I have been jumping this season, I am proud that I trusted myself and was able to execute.”

At the three-day Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational about a week later, Kenyon tied for 21st place out of a pool of 33 teams that included multiple D-I and D-II institutions. Anna Brown ’26 was an important performer for the Owls, finishing in seventh place in the mile race with a time of 5:18.63 while also coming in 11th place in the 800-meter race with a time of 2:22.51. In the grueling 5000-meter event, Olivia Ide ’27 crossed the finish line in 18:39.32, good enough for eighth place. 

On the field, Sorić, not even a week after the NCAA Championships, competed in the triple jump and came in fifth place with a leap of 11.40 meters. Elsewhere, Sorić also took part in the long jump event and finished in seventh place with a distance of 5.15 meters. In the javelin throw, Ali Murray ’27 cracked the top 20 with a 15th-place finish of 29.07 meters.

Men: Before its trip to Myrtle Beach, the Kenyon men’s track and field team sent three athletes to participate in the Mount Union Final Qualifier to try and qualify one last time for the indoor NCAA Championships. In the shot put, Riley Orth ’24’s final distance of 16.18 meters broke the Kenyon record he set just weeks prior. Although Orth’s toss was 29th in the country for D-III, it was not enough to qualify for Virginia Beach. 

At the Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational, Orth yet again led the way as Kenyon tied for 15th. In the shot put, Orth claimed gold with a throw of 15.36 meters, while also finishing in eighth place in the hammer throw, measuring in at 46.99 meters. To round out an impressive performance, Orth also finished 14th in the discus throw with a toss of 40.55 meters. 

On the track, Arthur Wellenstein ’27 paced the Owls in the one-mile race with a time of 4:22.20, good enough for a fifth-place finish and a personal record. In the 5000-meter event, Peter Bernhardt ’25 came in fifth place with a time of 15:43.37, earning four points for Kenyon, while Keegan Minahan ’24 came in 12th place with a time of 16:29.99. In the 10000-meter race, Joshua Breard ’26 and Samuel Rabieh ’25 finished alongside each other in ninth and 10th place, respectively. Breard’s time of 33:01.93 was a personal best, while Rabieh finished in 33:18.12. 

Next, the Owls will compete at the Tiffelberg Open on March 30, after what is a well-deserved period of rest. Sorić is grateful for the in-between time, but also expressed her excitement for the upcoming meets. “I’m coming down from a long indoor season so I have some time before I compete again, but I’m ready to get back to work and refine the things I need to tackle the outdoor season,” she said. “Right now we’re all getting ready for the Outdoor Conference Championship — we had a lot of amazing performances indoors and we’re excited to show up again outdoors.”

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