The Middlebury track and field team began the first part of the championship season with a bang. On Saturday, April 27, the team competed with a great deal of passion at the NESCAC Championships. The men’s team ultimately captured the gold, while the women’s team came in second to Williams.
The men were able to win the NESCAC Championships with a total score of 201 points. The great performances started with Nick Hendrix ’20, as he came in first place in both the 100 meter dash and 200 meter dash. The Panthers also captured the first three places in the 400 meter dash. Jimmy Martinez ’19 came in first with a time of 50.06, Josh Howard ’19 came in second with a time of 50.89 and William Robertson ’21 came in third with a time of 51.02. It is also important to mention that Nathan Hill ’20 came in second place in the 800 meter run, while Jon Perlman ’19 and Hill came in second and third place respectively in the 1500 meter run. In the 4×100 meter relay, the Panthers finished first with a time of 42.76. This team was composed of Noah Wagner-Carlberg ’19, Hendrix, Arden Coleman ’20 and Conor Banky ’19.
“I am very happy we won the 4×100,” Banky said. “We have a great group of sprinters that work hard and continue to push each other everyday. I believe my times on Saturday are a result from everyone’s effort throughout the week.”
The Panthers also got first in the 4×400 meter relay with a time of 3:23.35. This team was composed of Coleman, Robertson, Howard and Martinez. To finish off, Theo Henderson ’20 came in first in the 3000 meter steeplechase, John Natalone ’19 came in first in the pole vault event, Zack Sieb ’21 came in first in the discus throw and Minhaj Rahman ’19 finished first in the hammer throw.
In a total field of eleven teams, the women were able to come in second in the NESCAC Championships. The Panthers had a total of 145.50 points, while Williams came in first with 165 points. The notable performers include Gretchen McGrath ’21, who came in fourth place in the 200 meter dash with a time of 26.32. McGrath also came in fifth in the 400 meter dash. Cassidy Kearney ’22 had a time of 2:15.83 in the 800 meter run to capture third place. Abigail Nadler ’19 got third place in the 1500 meter run with a time of 4:39.57. Rory Kelly ’19 and Nadler captured first and second place respectively in the 5000 meter run. Kelly had a time of 17:47.74. A time of 35:58.49 placed Kate MacCary ’19 first place in the 10,000 meter run. The Middlebury “A” team won the 4×800 meter relay with a time of 9:34.62. This team was composed of Katie Glew ’21, Meg Wilson ’20, Anna Willig ’20 and Nicole Johnson ’22. Kreager Taber ’19 got second in the pole vault event with a vault of 3.55 meters. Rebecca Gorman ’20 was able to capture first place in the Javelin throw with a throw of 41.22 meters.
“The overall team had a fantastic showing at NESCACs and many people out-performed the predicted results,” Kelly said. “The women’s team really went for it despite being down some key contributors and we were all very proud of our collective work and that all of us competed bravely. In addition, it was great to see the men win the team title for the second year in a row.”
Despite an early win in the championship season, the Panthers still have a long way to go. The Division III New England Championships begins on Thursday, May 2 and goes through Saturday, May 4. I have no doubt that the Panthers can continue their dominance.
“We are heading into postseason with one of the best combined NESCAC performances Middlebury track and field has ever seen,” Gorman said. “Moving forward into championship season, the team is going to take that energy and run with it. There is more work to do and more records to be broken. We are going to show DIII Track and Field what Middlebury is made of.”
Banky adds, “Everyone’s excited to keep this train going. Even though some athletes will not move on to compete, everyone continues to support each other until competition season is over. Seeing the support within the team has been one of the best parts of getting to know this close-knit group.”