The Middlebury track and field team faced a hard fought battle in the recent Middlebury Winterfell on Saturday, Jan. 20, as the Panthers hosted a number of Division I teams on the New Balance Track in Virtue Field House. Even though the Panthers did not come out on top, they still gained experience that they can use for their next meets.
The women’s side finished fourth out of seven teams with a score of 86. Albany got first with 193, McGill came in second with 115, and Vermont was third with 102. The men finished third out of seven teams with a score of 136. Albany came in first with 181, and Vermont finished second with 137.
The women’s team had several key scorers in this meet. Kate McCluskey ’18 came in fifth in the 200 meter dash with a time of 26.17. This time broke the Middlebury women’s previous record for the 200 meter dash. McCluskey also captured first in the 600 meter dash with a time of 1:35.12.
“Breaking the 200 record was awesome,” McCluskey said after her races on Saturday. “Going into it I was really just excited to be able to open up and push myself to go as fast as I could the entire time, which isn’t something I get to do in events like the 600. I’ve felt really strong in training and this was a great way to see how my speed has been coming together.”
The team also did well in the 3000 meter run. Abigail Nadler ’19 placed first with a time of 10:09.30. A time of 10:19.30 netted Talia Ruxin ’20 third place, and Kate MacCary ’19 got sixth place with a time of 10:25.81.
Beth Neal ’20 placed sixth in the high jump with a height of 1.38 meters. In the pole vault event, Molly Colwell ’20 and Annalise Arant ’21 tied for fourth place with a height of 3.05 meters. Kreager Taber ’19 tied for sixth also with a height of 3.05 m.
The men’s side finished third out of seven teams with a score of 136. Albany came in first with 181 and Vermont finished second with 137.
For the men’s squad, scorers included Kevin Serrao ’18 who placed first in the 800 meter run with a time of 1:58.03. In the 1000 meter run, a time of 2:30.01 got Nathan Hill ’20 first-place finish. Connor Evans ’19 came in second in the 3000 meter run with a time of 8:48.06. John Natalone ’19 came in first with a height of 4.42 meters in the pole vault event. Also, Minhaj Rahman ’18 came in first in the weight throw for the second straight weekend. His longest throw was 15.96 meters, almost a meter further than his longest throw last weekend at the Middlebury Winter Classic.
“This was the first meet of the season for a lot of people, especially for the distance team coming off cross country season,” commented McCluskey on the meet at large. “I think most of the team felt good about their performances, either having great season openers or making progress from last week.”
Looking ahead to future meets, McCluskey spoke about the team’s focus on improving incrementally, “Right now, we’re still putting in a lot of hard training, just trying to improve at each meet. In a few weeks we’ll start focusing on DIII New England’s, which is our first championship meet indoors.”
Next week will be packed with action due to the Middlebury Invitational which takes place on Friday, Jan. 26, at 2 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 27, at 10 a.m. Both parts of the meet will be at the Virtue Field House.