Track prepares for season at Smith

The track teams competed last Saturday at Smith College in an unscored meet, using the opportunity to get some marks for the up and coming season. Against the challenges of a drafty field house and the once-a-year first-meet jitters, both the men’s and women’s teams were able to put forth a solid effort and even meet some qualifying standards.

Coming off their cross-country seasons with some stellar performances behind them, Edgar Kosgey ’10 and J. Koima ’12 bested the pack and doggedly dueled for all 5000 meters of the 5k. With Kosgey pushing the pace the majority of the race, both men finished in under 15:05, qualifying them for New England’s at the end of the season. Co-captain Cullen Roberts ’10 ran an impressive race in the 3k finishing with a time of 8:56.39, which can be largely attributed to a blistering last lap; the time qualifies Roberts for Div. IIIs.

In the sprints, Jabu Blyden ’13 showed that he’ll be a force to be dealt with this season, with a third place finish in the 55m hurdles at 8.27 seconds. For the rookie hurdlers, the adjustment to college track can be more difficult than spectators realize, as a three-inch increase in hurdle height has the potential to throw off an entire race.

Isaac Nicholson ’11 and Chris Fogler ’13 showed the makings of promising seasons with second and third place finishes respectively in the high jump. Nicholson would soar to third place again in the long jump with a distance of 6.41 m.

Last but not least, in the throws, Rusty Cowher ’12 hurled his way to a fourth place finish in the weight throw and a second place finish in the shot, coming just shy of a qualifying mark for New England’s in the weight throw.

The women, with a smaller contingent of athletes, also showed signs of great season to come. In the 55 m hurdles, co-captain and All-American Elise Johnson ’10 dominated the field in both the prelims and the finals. Johnson finished a full five tenths of a second faster than any other competitor, showing her readiness to take on the challenge of leading the Ephs to a national title.

In the distance events, Olivia Delia ’12 and Natalie Davis ’12 both ran gutsy races in the 3000, with Delia leading the majority of the race. With one lap to go, Davis surged forward to pass her teammate, running a 34 second final lap finishing first with a time of 10:38. Delia followed closely behind in second place with a final time of 10:40.

In the jumps, Karyn Moss ’12 and Sara Turner ’11 set solid marks for the season, with Moss finishing fifth in the long jump with a mark of 4.72 meters and third in the triple-jump with a 10.72 final bound. Turner placed first in the high jump with her final attempt of 1.50 m.

In the throws, Maddie Watson ’12 pushed herself to second and fifth place finishes in the shot put and weight throw. With distances of 10.94 m and 10.2 m in the two tests of strength, Watson was right on par with where she left off in the spring.

All in all it was a strong day for the Ephs. “For a meet that the team is meant to train through, we set some pretty solid marks for the season,” said Assistant Coach Joel Williams. “The meet is really meant to be used as a measuring stick for potential for performances to come.”

The Ephs do not compete again until their home meet on Jan. 16 and will look to focus on logging solid hours of training and lifting in order to start the season off right.