Section: Sports

Track and field hosts annual Duane Gomez Invitational

Over the weekend, the Kenyon track and field teams hosted the Duane Gomez Invitational. Going up against four NCAC opponents, Muskingum University and neighboring Mount Vernon Nazarene University, the men’s team took the top spot with 142 points and the women’s team secured fourth place with 79 points.

Men: On its home track, the men’s team was able to get first place, narrowly beating Wittenberg University by eight points. The day got off to a strong start, with three consecutive victories for the Owls. First, in the 4×100-meter relay, Tapiwa Gono Phiri ’25, Emmanuel Makelele ’25, Collin Witt ’24 and Jonathan Turner ’24 stopped the clock in 43.72 seconds, almost exactly a second ahead of their opponents. Gono Phiri continued racking up the wins for Kenyon in the 400-meter dash, finishing in first with a time of 49.90, a personal best. Right behind him was Witt, taking silver with a finish of 50.45. The third consecutive Owls win came in the 1500-meter run, where Peter Bernhardt ’25 clocked in at 4:06.70 for first place, while Colter Murphy ’26 ran a personal-best time of 4:07.17 to finish right behind Bernhardt in second.

Gono Phiri, who earned NCAC Athlete of the Week honors, continued the Kenyon hot streak, teaming up with Makelele, Witt and Turner to take the top spot in the 4×400-meter relay, completing the race in 3:29.93. Just behind them with a third-place finish of 3:40.61 was the quartet of Dylan Sibbitt ’26, Murphy, William Wilson ’25 and Bernhardt. In the 800-meter, Wilson and Sibbitt claimed second and third place, respectively. Wilson’s time of 2:00.24 earned him a new personal best, while Sibbitt finished just behind him in 2:00.96. In total, the Owls amassed 88 of their points on the track.

Over in the field events, Riley Orth ’24 once again proved to be in a league of his own. Orth, who was also named NCAC Athlete of the Week, broke the shot-put record that he set just last week. His throw of 15.86 meters landed him a first-place finish. He also tallied points for the Owls in the discus and hammer throw, getting third in discus (42.31 meters) and fourth in hammer (46.41 meters). The other first-place finish in the field for the Owls came from Dylan Fuerst ’24, whose jump of 1.85 meters tied him with another competitor to split the gold in the high jump. In the triple jump, Ezekiel Kiwanuka ’26’s jump of 11.25 meters earned him third place and a personal-best mark. Both Fuerst and Kiwanuka competed in long jump as well, with Fuerst taking third place (6.26 meters) and narrowly out-jumping Kiwanuka (6.25 meters). With multiple podium finishes and record-setting marks under their belts, the Owls won their home meet, their first team victory of the season.

Women: The Owls’ distance runners were the stars for the women’s team, with both first-place finishes of the day coming on the track. To start the day, Amelia Sims ’27 led the pack in the steeplechase, completing the event in first place with a time of 12:40.62. Then, toward the conclusion of the meet, first-year Penny Griffioen ’27 secured gold in the 5,000-meter, running the longest race of the day in 19:37.63. The time was a new personal best for Griffioen by almost 20 seconds. Another high-scoring event for the Owls came in the prior distance race, the 1,500-meter race. Olivia Ide ’27 stopped the clock in 5:01.37, a personal best, to claim bronze. 

The relay portion of the day also added some points for the Owls, as the 4×100-meter relay resulted in a third-place finish from Hitsman, Grace Neuger ’24, Grace Sparks ’26 and Isabella Roach ’27, who completed the event in 54.67 seconds.

The Owls also had two podium finishes in the field events, both from first-years. In the javelin, Ali Murray ’27’s throw of 27.39 meters earned her a podium finish of third place, while in the triple jump, Sadie Olson ’27 secured third place with her leap of 9.04 meters.

The men’s and women’s teams will head to Denison University on Friday to compete in the Big Red Invitational, the Owls’ final meet before the NCAC Championships begin.

Opinions editor Dylan Sibbitt ’26 is a member of the Kenyon men’s track and field team.

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