Distance runners shined this weekend as the women’s track team finished fourth and the men finished seventh at the College of William & Mary’s Colonial Relays meet.
In a field of 14 teams, the women finished fourth with 85 points, 102 points behind first place Seton Hall University.
“I was encouraged by the fourth-place finish, but also know that we’re capable of more,” women’s team captain Jessica Thomas ’02 said.
The women had a number of standout performances, and were led by sophomore Rebecca Hunter’s first-place finish in the 1,500-meter run. Anne Martin ’05 placed third in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Sikira Backus ’02 placed fourth in the 100-meter dash, and Rebecca Dickens ’04 placed fourth in the 800-meter event.
Several relay teams had first-place finishes, including the 4×1,500-meter team of Alex Sawicki ’04, Nadia Sawicki ’04, Martin and Hunter and the distance medley team of Hunter, Katrina Svoboda ’05, Dickens and Kate O’Neill ’03.
“I thought it was a big improvement from our earlier meets,” said Svoboda, who also placed seventh in the 400-meter hurdles. “Our distance girls were great.”
In addition to Hunter’s first-place individual finish, she anchored the winning 4×1,500-meter relay team and ran a strong 1,200-meter leg of the distance medley.
“Rebecca Hunter had a really great weekend,” Svoboda said.
Martin’s third-place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase was also a highlight of the weekend, Thomas said. This meet was the first in which Martin had competed in that event.
Thomas said the meet pinpointed some team weaknesses, especially on the sprints side, and that the team will need to refocus for upcoming meets.
Despite no first-place finishes and a seventh-place team finish, men’s captain Donald Carlson ’02 said the meet was a success for the men’s team, as well.
“We didn’t have any standout performances but as a whole the team performed well,” Carlson said.
But Carlson did mention the second-place finish of the 4×1,500 relay team. The team, which includes two freshmen, showed a lot of promise for the future, he said.
Three team members had third-place finishes, for the team’s highest individual finishes. Tom Stout ’02 came in third in the 400-meter dash and Lucas Meyer ’05 finished third in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. On the field side, Allen Czerwinski ’03 came in third in the javelin throw.
One of Yale’s goals for the meet was to prepare its runners for Heptagonals, where athletes compete in multiple events two days in a row.
“We did a good job coming back on day two,” Carlson said.
Jeffrey Hobbs ’02, who placed seventh in the 400-meter hurdles, said that the team needs to perform better in upcoming meets.
“It’s one of the last meets where you really need to bring it all together to form a cohesive team heading into the important meets,” Hobbs said.
The track team will compete at the Columbia Invitational in New York this weekend.