This past Saturday and Sunday, April 16 and 17, the University of Mary Washington men’s and women’s track and field teams traveled up to York College in York, Pa. to compete in the Capital Athletic Conference championship meet.
Forecasts of torrential storms and downpour threatened to postpone the meet, however, the starting gun went off as planned on Saturday morning, as athletes endured the miserable weather conditions. Events gradually continued throughout the day with the meet ultimately concluding on Sunday.
After finally scoring the two-day meet, the York men’s team was named the CAC champion for the first time in 20 years, and Salisbury’s women’s team repeated as conference champions.
Despite UMW’s loss to two major conference rivals, Mary Washington head coach Stan Soper was not disappointed in how his athletes performed and the accomplishments they made.
“I felt our team ‘put everything on the line’ and gave it their best efforts under some very difficult conditions,” Soper said. “I was proud of both teams in how they handled the adversity.”
Last weekend’s losses are reminders that not only individual, but team improvements must continuously happen each year.
“The competition at the CAC championship gets better and better every year,” Soper said. “The results from this weekend are not indicative of the quality of athletes in this conference. Every team out there put up a good fight.”
In the first event of the meet, the men’s 10,000-meter run, UMW sophomore Sean Healy took second place with a time of 33:30.13. In the women’s race, senior Madalyn Crowell placed third with a performance of 42:45.70.
For the men’s 110-meter hurdle race, freshmen Dalton Echard finished in third place with a time of 17.79. In the women’s 100-meter hurdle competition, sophomore Brooke Thompson had a second place performance of 17.02.
In the 3000-meter steeple chase, junior Chris Marino leapt to an impressive second place time of 10:03.20. For the 1,500-meter run, the Eagles’ senior pair of Sarah Dawes and Kristy Witek seized first and third place, respectively. Dawes had a time of 4:57.54 and Witek posted 5:10.73.
In an impressive rookie performance, freshmen Kaytlen Keller dominated the 400-meter run. Keller departed the track with a winning time of 1:01.12 to become the event’s new CAC champion.
Racing in the half mile, sophomore Matt Shaughnessy and freshmen Phil Wahlman took second and third place. For the 800-meter distance, the men closely finished with the times 2:00.02 and 2:00.69, respectively. On the women’s side, Dawes doubled back for another impressive finish taking third place with a time of 2:27.74.
Running the women’s 400-meter hurdles, Thompson earned her second place finish with 1:13.14 and teammate sophomore Michele Sutherland championed the event with 1:12.52.
In the 200 meter dash, previously named 400-meter run champion Keller, doubled back for a third place success with her time of 27.63, less than three-tenths of a second off first place.
In the men’s 5,000-meter run, sophomore Scott Plunkett finished the twelve and a half lap race in a time of 16.21.89, crossing the line in third.
Among the meet’s relays, the Eagles best performances came from the men’s and women’s 4×400 squads, each of which finished in second place. The men’s relay of senior Scott Matthiessen, Wahlman, junior Bobby Tillett and Shaughnessy had a time of 3:29.74. For the women, freshmen Kelsey Carter, senior Stacy Keser, Sutherland, and Dawes posted a collective time of 4:14.29.
Throughout the weekend’s field events, senior Matt Gellar launched his way to a second place mark in the hammer throw with 41.03 meters, as well as a third place finish in the shot put with a distance of 13.42 meters. For the women’s javelin throw, senior Amanda Zapata secured third place with a pitch of 32.26 meters.
Among the meet’s jumps, sophomore Nathaniel Saint-Preux took first in the men’s triple jump with a leap of 12.88 meters. In the women’s long jump, junior Yun Lee soared to a second place distance of 4.94 meters. Meanwhile, in the women’s triple jump, Sutherland took third with her mark of 10.15 meters.
After the meet’s calculations, final team scores were posted with the men’s champion of York totaling 160 points, runner up Salisbury ending with 142 points and Mary Washington claiming third with 130.33, succumbing to Salisbury for second by less than 12 points.
For the women’s field, the champion Salisbury team accumulated 213 points, York took a distant second with 148 points and Mary Washington earned third with their 115 point performance.