Indoor Track and Field Ready to Kick Off Season, with Records in Sight

By JORDAN HOWELL

EMMA STAPLETON/THE MIDDLEBURY CAMPUS
Panther runners compete in the 5000 meter run at the Middlebury Team Challenge on Feb. 16, 2018.

As the new year rolls in, the indoor track and field season for both the men’s and women’s teams will commence.  Last season, the men and women finished off well in the indoor NCAA Championships.  The men were in a tie for twentieth place out of sixty-six teams.  Jimmy Martinez ’19 and the distance medley relay team (composed of Nathan Hill ’20, Tyler Farrell ’18, James Mulliken ’18 and Kevin Serrao ’18) also received All-American honors.  The women didn’t bring enough competitors to earn a definitive team placement, but outings from Kate McCluskey ’18 in the 400-meter run and the distance medley relay team (composed of Tasha Greene ’21, Meg Wilson ’20, McCluskey and Abigail Nadler ’19) were impressive.

In this new season, both teams will have lost runners, jumpers and throwers who have graduated.  For the men, these include Serrao, Farrell, Mulliken and Mike Pallozzi ’18.  For the women, these include McCluskey, Kisha Kalra ’18, Devon Player ’18 and Brianna Bisson ’18.  These were all consistent performers during their time with the team who all were able to contribute to the Panthers’ strong finishes last year.  

Even with these losses, Middlebury still has talent that can lead the team to victory this year.  A prime example is Martinez, who excelled in the 200-meter and 400-meter races last year.  He also holds the indoor school records for the 200-meter, 400-meter, and 600-meter races (with times of 22:20, 47.81 and 1:21.24 respectively) as well as various Virtue Field House records.  Minhaj Rahman ’19 will also provide an important spark for this season.  Last season, he consistently won the team points in the weight throw, and broke the school record for the weight throw with a throw of 56’6”.  

Talia Ruxin ’20 and Nadler are poised to rise to the occasion as they were both among the key distance runners last season.  Kreager Taber ’19 was also a consistent pole vault performer last year and holds a school record for the event with 11’2.25”.  This short list of contributors doesn’t even scratch the surface of the immense depth and talent that the team retains.

Even though the indoor track season is relatively short, the teams will face a number of challenges from tough opponents.  The teams will also look forward to improving throughout the season in order to do their best at the Division III New England Championships and the NCAA Championships.  As of right now, the season officially begins on Sunday, Jan. 6 as both the men and women compete in the Dartmouth Relays.

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