Track and Field Season Nearing End

By Rob Erickson, Sports Editor

The track and field teams traveled to Williams last Thursday, May 4 to Saturday, May 6, where they put together yet another strong performance at the the DIII New England Championships.

Athletes who finished in the top eight earned All-New England laurels. The women set two new school records as they garnered eight such finishes en route to a sixth place standing out of 32 teams. Meanwhile, the men snagged seven All-New England honors of their own to wind up 10th out of 32.

Maddie Pronovost ’17 added yet another first-place medal to her collection with a resounding victory in the heptathlon. She amassed 4,419 points over the seven events of the two-day event, capped off by event victories in both the 100-meter hurdles (15.13) and the long jump (18′ 2.25″). Her totals surpassed the old school record, set by Hannah Blackburn ’17 in 2015, by over 240 points—not to say that she didn’t take care of this weekend’s field almost as handily, finishing 125 points ahead of second place.

Pronovost had nothing but positives to offer after competition was over. “The meet went really well for myself and the team,” she said. “We had a lot of season–best times and a few school records broken, all well deserved.”
Helene Rowland ’20 put up the other school record set this weekend, tossing the shot put 39′2.5″ on Saturday to finish sixth overall in the event. In doing so she broke the old school record, which Whitney Creed ’06 set in 2004, by 5.5″.

Other All-New England finishes for the women on the track included Sasha Whittle ’17, who finished second in the 1,500-meter run in 4:33.34, and Abigail Nadler ’19, who finished fifth in the same event (4:356.96). Paige Fernandez ’17 crossed the line seventh in the 400-meter hurdles (1:05.16) and Meg Wilson ’20 ran to a seventh-place finish in the 800-meter race (2:13.14). Off the track, Devon Player ’18 landed a sixth-place finish in the javelin (132′1″) and Kreager Taber ’19 leapt to seventh in the pole vault (11′6.5″).

The men’s 10th place finish featured contributions from a usual crowd of strong performers. Kevin Serrao ’18 finished second in the 800-meter race (1:52.40), just ahead of teammate Nathan Hill ’20, who finished fourth (1:53.07). Jimmy Martinez ’19 raced to a fourth-place finish in the 400-meter dash (48.82) and teammate Arden Coleman ’20 finished fifth in the same event (48.93). In the 1,500-meter race, Jonathan Perlman ’19 crossed the line seventh (3:55.39). Over in the field events Minhaj Rahman ’19 threw the hammer 162′4″ to place sixth overall, and in the pole vault, John Natalone ’19 tied for eighth with a jump of 14′2″.

Since only select athletes will be competing in the final two meets of the season, last weekend’s competition marked the end of the season for most of the Panthers. But the decrease in practice numbers won’t get in the way of the remaining athletes, according to Pronovost. “Even though the majority of the team has stopped competing, those that are continuing are still driven to work hard and do well,” she said. “Athletes often get more personal attention during the championship season as there are less people competing, which can be helpful.

“While we won’t have the entire team at practice, people still find ways to see each other who aren’t continuing with their season outside of the normal practice schedule.”

Next weekend, the Panthers will head down to Williams once again to compete in the Open New England Championships, a meet featuring athletes from all three NCAA divisions. The following weekend, qualifying athletes will travel to the Division III National Championships hosted by the Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio.