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Indoor Track embraces home-field advantage

By Yoshi Hill '16

January 30, 2014

Hamilton College is one of the few small liberal arts colleges that possesses facilities capable of hosting track and field meets. This advantage allows the Continentals to avoid the difficulties that arise from winter travel twice a season, when Hamilton invites several teams to compete at the Margaret Bundy Scott Field House.

The surface of the field house is the same material employed at the track of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Captain Sam Reider ’14 called the track “one of the best surfaces we will run on all year.”

The comfort of running at home also bestows a mental boost that further augments the athletes’ performances.

Captain Sarah Ohanesian ’14, finds that it aids her preparation, saying, “I’ve always liked competing at home because I’m able to visualize the workouts that I’ve done on the track that week, which really helps me when I’m preparing to race.”

Encouraged by the advantages of a home meet, the men’s and women’s teams posted quality results across the board. Several members of the track team extended their enormous success from the fall cross-country season.

Adrian Walsh ’16 held one of the top two spots for much of the 5,000 meter race and finished a mere two seconds behind the first place athlete from St. Lawrence University. Her impressive time of 17:48 qualifies her for the Eastern College Athletic Conference meet in March in Boston.

Ohanesian contended in the 3,000 meters and ended up in second place, crossing the finish line in 10 minutes and 53 seconds, a personal best.

On the men’s side, sustaining his dominant fall season, Adam Pfander ’16 cruised to first place in a straightforward 5,000 meter race, which he completed in 15 minutes and 34 seconds, a distant 25 seconds ahead of the next competitor. Sophomores Harrison Sullivan and Jack Moses raced to third and fifth respectively, in the same race.

Joe Jensen, an NYSCTC “Athlete of the Week” in December, balanced four different events and ended the day with finishes no lower than fourth. He racked up victories in the 200 and 400 meter dashes, further establishing his dominance in the sprint events. He narrowly lost out to a competitor from Alfred State by .03 seconds in the 60 meter dash to finish in second place. Finally, he ran the first leg of the 4x200 meter relay team which came in fourth, less than a second behind SUNY Brockport.

Reider ’14 warned Jensen’s future competitors that “he [Joe] is not even in shape yet,” and expressed how excited he was to witness the degree to which Jensen can improve.

Several first-years have built upon impressive results at last weekend’s competition at Colgate University. Coach Ellen Hull praised the crop of students, commenting, “All of our freshmen are hard workers and a lot of fun.” Only five seconds behind the first place finisher, Michelle Fish completed the mile in 5:23 and ran the second leg of the 4x400 meter relay alongside Tina Choinski ’15, Sarah Fromm ’16 and Jessye McGarry ’16. The relay team sprinted to a third-placed finish less than a second after the team from Delhi College. Grant Whitney ’17 persevered in a tight field to finish the 800 meter dash in 2:00.83 for second place and Captain Reider ’14 added, “I expect him to continue to improve throughout the year.” Lastly, Yuwen Michelson ’17 jumped 4.98 meters on her second attempt, placing her in third in a close competition.

In the weight throw, Captain Will Tifft ’14 threw 15.11 meters on his third attempt to beat the fourth placed finisher from MVCC by 0.9 meters. Choinski ’15, in addition to the 4 x 400 meter relay, completed the 1,000 meter run in 10:53 to finish in fifth.

The Continentals’ next meet takes place at the Robert Kane Invitational hosted by Cornell University, where they will compete against several Division I teams.

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