Track and Field Takes Fourth at Dartmouth

By Alex Edel

Last weekend the track and field athletes traveled to Dartmouth to open up the winter season at the 44th Annual Dartmouth Relays. For many athletes this weekend marked the beginning of a season that will last throughout the spring as they compete for both the indoor and outdoor teams.

While many runners do compete in both indoor and outdoor track and field, the two are definitely not exactly comparable as Brian Holtzman ’14 explains.

“Indoor track is its own kind of animal compared to outdoors,” said Holtzman.  “Some of the events are different with off-distances races such as the 500m and 1000m, and the track isn’t as big, so racing is often a more physical. Also, the variety of indoor tracks is a lot larger than in outdoor tracks — a time run at Boston University and running at University of Vermont mean two completely different things. On the other hand, being inside guarantees ideal conditions, which is one less variable that needs to be considered. Pole vaulters especially love being inside.”

While competing against several Div. I schools such as Boston College, Northeastern and Dartmouth, several Middlebury athletes secured top spots earning points for Middlebury against tough competition.

Holtzman led the team with standout performances breaking a school record in the 60 meter race with a time of 7.13,  which earned him a fourth place finish at the meet. The team continued to show its  depth as Will Bain also beat the school record finishing just .03 behind Holtzman with a time of 7.16, earning him a seventh place finish.

“My goal going into the meet was to make the final. I achieved that goal, so I was pleased on that front–breaking the school record was just an added bonus,” said Holtzman. “The biggest thing I can take away from the performance is that I now have established a good starting point for the season and need to continue to work to make sure I improve throughout the season.”

In the 4×200 meter relay the Middlebury men also scored points for the school as the team of Kevin Chu ’13, Sam Rives ’15, Andrew Headrick ’16, and Dan Bent ’13 placed third with a time of 1:34.77.

Despite a depth of skill in the 400 meter dash, Fritz Parker ’15 edged out Patrick Rooney ’13 and Louis Cornacchione ’13 but was unable to reach scoring position, placing seventh while his teammates placed eighth and ninth respectively.

Finishing out the running portion of the meet for the men, was the team of Rooney, Cornacchione, Sam Craft ’14 and Parker who earned a third place finish in the 4×400 meter relay in a time of 3:27.77.

The Panther men also had an impressive turnout in the Field Events as Alec Drobac ’16 scored for the team with a fifth place finish in the long jump.

The Panther women had an equally impressive meet, as Emily Dodge ’13 kicked off the meet with a fourth place finish in the 60 meter hurdles. Alexandra Morris ’16 continued to score for the team with a fifth place finish in the 400-meter dash with a time of 61.37.

Grace Doering ’13 also added to the team points with a fourth place finish in the high jump, jumping 1.54 meters.

While the meet was successful for the team, Holtzman sees this part of the season as a preview for what is to come in the spring.

“Indoors is really a preview for outdoors,” said Holtzman. “Historically, our team greatly improves between the winter and the spring because the events tailor more to our strengths. We have some big meets coming up against teams across all divisions and then the championships in late February which will culminate in the NCAA. From there we will start to focus on contending for a NESCAC championship in late April.”

The Panther athletes will continue their season this Friday Jan. 18 at UVM.

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Track and Field Takes Fourth at Dartmouth