Indoor Track And Field Competes Against UVM

By Alex Edel

The men’s and women’s indoor track and field athletes traveled to University of Vermont on Friday Jan. 18 to compete in their first dual meet of this season. While UVM came away victorious, Middlebury athletes snagged a new school record and several top finishes.

While Conor Simons ’16 may not have won his event, he came back to campus with something even more lasting in the form of a new school record in the men’s heptathlon with an overall score of 3,578 points.

Co-captain Sarah O’Brien ’13 earned herself the top spot in New England for Division III in the 1,000 meter run with a time of 3:02.35. Several other athletes on the women’s side came away from the meet with top-three finishes. In her final year as a Panther, Grace Doering ’13 has not failed to impress in the high jump, setting herself up as a top competitor in the event. She won the event, jumping an impressive 1.55 meters.

Continuing on in the same vein as last weekend, Emily Dodge ’13 finished the 55-meter hurdles in a time of 8.87 seconds, edging out UVM’s Sara Roderick by 0.09 seconds for the win.

On the men’s side, Brian Holtzman ’14 had another successful meet, winning the 55-meter dash in a time of 6.68 seconds. Holtzman was closely followed by Will Bain ’15 and Andrew Headrick ’16 who finished fourth and fifth behind Evan Keating and Anderson Koeing of UVM.

Both Danny Plunkett ’16 and Kevin Chu ’14 also won events at the meet. Plunkett won the shot put, throwing 13.32 meters while Chu came away victorious in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 7.75 seconds, while also running a leg of the victorious 4×400 meter relay team.

“I was pleased with my finish in the hurdles considering my absence this fall,” said Chu. “I was at Swarthmore college on a domestic exchange and was a little worried that I would be a step behind everyone when I came back. It is tough to train alone, so I am thankful to be back with the team and the credit goes to all of them for helping me get back up to speed.”

Chu’s mark in the hurdles currently ranks ninth in Division III, putting him in contention for NCAAs in March.

“NCAA championship qualification requires a top 13 ranking for individual events at the end of the season,” said Chu. “Getting out to an early lead in that qualification process is important. I am in a position now where my competition is under pressure to chase my time, and that allows me to just focus on our training and the things that we need to do each and every day in practice to continue improving.”

Luke Martinez ’15 finished third in the men’s triple jump, a jump that places him fifth in Middlebury men’s indoor track and field history. Martinez was not the only one to have a result that placed him in the top ten in Middlebury history. Deklan Robinson ’16 came away from the high jump with a second place finish, securing himself as the fourth best high jumper in Middlebury history during his first year of competition for the College.

The team will compete this coming weekend Jan. 25 and 26 at Boston University as part of the Terrier Classic. Chu explains that while these indoor meets are important the preparation that it gives the team for the spring season is what really matters.

“In a way, indoor is glorified practice for outdoor because there is no conference championship indoor,” said Chu. “That doesn’t mean indoor isn’t important and that success during the winter is meaningless. There is definitely a correlation between the two. The goal for the team has to be winning the NESCAC.”

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