Track & field teams place 10th at New York State Championships

By Sterling Xie '16

While both the Hamilton men and women’s track teams finished 10th out of 11 teams at the New York State Championships last weekend, several noteworthy individual performances represented the Conts well.

On the women’s side, Hannah Javien ’14 was the lone Hamilton athlete to place first in an event, winning the pole vault with a height of 3.45 meters. Javien finished third in the NESCAC championships the previous week. Additionally, Agne Jakubauskaite ’13, Rachel Cackett ’13 and Hannah Kloeckner ’14 all qualified for the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championships the weekend of May 16. Jakubauskaite finished fifth in the high jump with a height of 1.58 meters, while Kloeckner and Cackett finished sixth and eighth respectively in the 10K meter race.

Jakubauskaite has high expectations for herself looking towards the ECAC DIII Championships. She said that while it will likely be her last collegiate-level competition, “it would be really nice to finish the season on a high note ... because I am less than an inch away from the school record.”

Coach Ellen Hull notes how favorable conditions, while putting Hamilton at an overall disadvantage, propelled many members of the team to either seasonal or personal bests. “Almost everyone this weekend exceeded their times from most of the meets this season,” said Hull. “We had pretty ideal weather conditions and the athletes seized the opportunity.”

On the men’s side, top performances included junior Will Tifft’s 45.65-meter effort in the hammer throw and fellow junior Matthew Peterfreund’s sixth place finish in the javelin throw with 48.34 meters. Additionally, Sam Reider ’14 sprinted to second place in the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.53 seconds. The junior trio will represent Hamilton at the ECACs, though first-year Andrew Mandelbaum ’16 came up just 1.3 seconds shy of joining them in the 800-meter race.

Qualifying for the ECAC championships is always a primary goal for the track & field athletes as it provides a tremendous opportunity to showcase one’s seasonal and career progression. Though they will no longer compete as a team, the athletes traveling to Springfield College next week will seek more personal hardware and bragging rights.  For track veterans Javien and Reider, the expectations are extremely high.

“I hope to break the school record,” Reider boldly proclaimed.  “I hope I get to end up competing, since the meet takes place during finals week, but I expect to do my best if I go there.”

Similarly, Javien hopes not only to perform well next weekend, but also to potentially prolong her career by an additional meet. “I am very eager to compete at ECAC’s,” she admitted. “I haven’t qualified for the ECAC championships since my freshman year in 2011, so I have very high expectations to do well. It would be a great accomplishment to place and represent Hamilton honorably. But my goal is still to qualify for the NCAA championship. I am so close and I know I’m capable of meeting that goal.”

While neither team was able to break through in the NESCAC this year, attrition from injuries accounted for many of the teams’ struggles this season. Still, the solid performances by underclassmen, many of whom just missed qualifying for the ECACs, give the Hamilton track program reason to look forward to even stronger results in future seasons.

“We had a rough season with lots of injuries,” admitted Reider. “But everything seemed to come together at the end. Will Tifft had a huge weekend in the hammer. And I think the future looks bright for the team with a couple of standout freshmen in Andrew Mandelbaum and James Bryan.”

The consistent effort of the younger members of the women’s team bode well as the team’s talent matures with experience.  “As far as the team goes, everyone worked really hard this past season and put in a lot of effort,” said Javien. “I believe if we continue to work and train hard then everyone will see the results that reflect our effort.”


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