By JOE CLAYTON
On Friday, March 22, Mary Washington track & field started the Battleground Relays and the weekend off on the right foot, scoring a victory in the final of the men’s 4×200-meter relay and a second-place finish in the final of the women’s 4×200-meter relay.
The Battleground Relays are a non-scored, early-season outdoor meet. They were also the only home events this season for the Eagles, offering students the opportunity to see our track & field athletes compete in person. The meet was open to all collegiate or post-collegiate athletes and took place over two days.
Junior Nathaniel Saint-Preux started strong with first place in the men’s triple jump at 45-feet-9.75-inches. Friday evening brought even more success, as the Eagles took first in the final of the women’s 4×800-meter relay, followed by the Mary Washington A and B teams taking second and third, respectively, in the men’s final.
The Eagles built upon the momentum from Friday, carrying it into the second day of the meet. Saint-Preux continued his strong showing with a victory in the men’s long jump, reaching a distance of 6.4 meters, narrowly edging out Denzel Washington of Montgomery College by 0.05 meters.
By JOE CLAYTON
As Saturday wore on, UMW continued its strong showing with wins by sophomore Nicholas Judy in men’s pole vault and sophomore Claire Harrington in women’s pole vault.
When asked what is special about this meet, junior Ben Tuxbury said, “Definitely the mugs, and competing in front of so many familiar faces.” The championship mugs to which he referred are reserved for collegiate athletes and are awarded to the winners of all individual and relay events.
Tuxbury is a two-time mug winner in his three years competing for Mary Washington, and he finished fifth in javelin on Saturday, setting a personal record of 37.36 meters. Kiernan Powell from Catholic University took first with a throw of 48.84 meters.
Another one of UMW’s impressive performances this weekend was in the 400-meter hurdles, where junior Michelle Sutherland won the women’s final and sophomores Michael Atkinson and Dalton Echard finished first and second, respectively, in the men’s final.
The Eagles also took first place in the women’s distance medley, and junior Scott Plunkett led the way in the men’s 5,000-meter run. Mary Washington track & field closed out the weekend with victories from both the men and women in the finals of 4×400-meter relays.
The Eagles hope to ride the momentum gained at the Battleground Relays next weekend, as they head to Lynchburg to compete in the Division-III Commonwealth Duals.