Track and Field Prepares for NCAA Championships

By JORDAN HOWELL

BENJY RENTON
Abigail Nadler ’19 (left) and Rory Kelly ’19 (right) compete in the Middlebury Team Challenge on February 16. Nadler and Kelly will be among the 11 Middlebury athletes competing in the NCAA Championship meet.

Several members of the track and field team traveled to Medford, Massachusetts on Saturday, Mar. 2nd, where they competed in the non-scoring Tufts Last Chance Meet.  The meet was a good opportunity to squeeze in some more qualifiers and to fit in some extra practice against the competition before the NCAA Championships.

On the last chance meet, Nathan Hill ’20 said, “This meet was a great tune up for NCAA’s next weekend. There is always great competition and it is a good opportunity to see where the relay stacks up in relation to the other teams in New England.”

The women had several notable performances.  Meg Wilson ’20 placed second in the 800 meter run and clocked in at 2:15.46. For the one mile run, Abigail Nadler ’19 finished with a time of 5:07.36, and earned third place.  The Panthers also placed fourth in both the 4×400 relay and the distance medley.  The 4×400 relay team, which had a time of 3:55.89, was composed of Julia Munz ’22, Lucy Lang ’19, Ava O’Mara ’21, and Gretchen McGrath ’21.  The distance medley team, which had a time of 11:46.23, was composed of Nadler, McGrath, Cassie Kearney ’22, and Rory Kelly ’19.

The men also had their share of strong performances.  Will Meyer ’20 participated in the 3000 meter run, where his time of 8:32.74 got him fourth place.  The “A” team, which comprised of Nathan Hill, Arden Coleman ‘20, Jimmy Martinez ‘19 and Jon Perlman ‘19, was able to get first in the distance medley with a time of 9:56.58.  In the pole vault event, John Natalone ’19 was able to tie for sixth place as he had a vault of 34.40 meters.  Minhaj Rahman ’19 was first in the weight throw competition as he threw for 19.35 meters.  

Hill also mentioned a new routine that has helped performances. “Everything begins with prep,” said Hill. “The night before, as per Jimmy Martinez’s request, our van stopped on the way to Boston to get Kombucha. It has become a tradition over the last few weeks as we continued to race well after having it. We will definitely be stopping again this weekend to fuel up before NCAAs.”

For the entire the season, the track team has been anticipating the change to make their mark at the NCAA Championships. The championships, which will include the men’s and women’s teams, will occur on Friday, Mar. 8 and Saturday, Mar. 9. at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Martinez, Rahman, Perlman, Coleman and Hill have been chosen to represent the men’s team at the meet, while Kelly, Nadler, Wilson, McGrath, Kearney and Tasha Greene ’21 will anchor the women’s team. If the team keeps up their performances from throughout the season, they will undoubtedly bring home some hardware back to campus.

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