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Tracking down the competition in Rochester

By Yoshi Hill '16

April 11, 2013

The outdoor track season lasts a brief month and a half, which adds gravity to each meet and urgency in the buildup to the end of year. Coach Brett Hull declared that it was vital for the team “to build upon the success that our team realized during the indoor season.”

This past weekend, the Continentals took this demanding task in stride and demonstrated the hard work and progress they have carried over from the indoor season and accomplished so far in outdoor. Looking forward to the rest of the season, Captain Muriel Schwinn ’13 said, “We are looking forward to having the healthy runners continue their great performances, the injured keep working hard to return to the track, and having fun spending time with our teammates.”

Hamilton’s track and field team arrived at Rochester’s Fauver Stadium on April 6 in good spirits after solid runs at the Hamilton Invitational the week before. It was a large meet with 13 men’s teams and 14 women’s teams with hundreds of athletes. Despite the heightened competition, Hamilton’s runners performed solidly across the board. Despite it being the second meet after break, there was little to no difficulty in re-adjusting. Coach Ellen Hull was especially happy with how the team seamlessly shifted gears after spring break, saying, “We have a great group of disciplined athletes that have fun working hard every day.”

Qualifying for the elite ECAC Championship meet is a top goal for track and field atheletes and several members qualified or came very close to qualifying . Hannah Kloeckner ’14 cruised to fifth place with a time of 39:31.69, joining captain Rachel Cackett ’13 on the ECAC team in the 10K race. Emily Banzer ’15 secured a personal record but unfortunately missed the ECAC standard for the 3K steeple chase by a mere four tenths of a second and now looks to qualify in the next couple meets. Hannah Jaiven ’14 qualified last week having tied the Hamilton program record in the pole-vault. Captain Jimmy Alexis ’13 will also compete in the pole-vault at the ECAC championship meet on May 16th and 17th at Springfield College. Both coaches expect several more athletes to qualify for this prestigious event in the coming weeks.

Coach Brett Hull said that in the postseason he would like the team to contend on both the track and field fronts and based on the results of last weekend’s meet this strategy seems within grasp. Alexis continued his impressive senior year with a third place finish in the pole-vault. Jaiven maintained her composure in a tense three-way sudden death round to win the pole-vault on the women’s side. In other field events, Matthew Peterfreund ’14 was impressive, taking fourth place in the javelin and ninth in the hammer-throw. Also competing in the hammer throw, junior William Tifft grabbed eight place. Leonard Kilekwang ’16 maintained his impressive form from indoor track and finished fifth in the triple jump.

The Continentals’ depth in the middle and long-distance events became clearer with many athletes getting personal bests. Senior Muriel Schwinn lauded the “great depth and strength” of the distance team.

Captain Cackett raced to fifth place in the 5000 meter run in 18 minutes and 49 seconds, which is her personal best. First-years Adrian Walsh and James Bryan sped to 18th place and 11th place in the 1500 meter race, respectively. Finally, first-years Jack Moses and Charles Pfander completed the 5000 meters in personal best times.

With only three more meets before the postseason, every single heat or attempt multiplies in significance for the Continentals to be able to position themselves for success in the NESCAC and NYSCTC Championship meets.

The team hopes for better weather as they have the challenge of running outside in all weather. The field athletes especially cannot wait for sunny days to throw and jump out on the track.

Looking ahead, the Continentals are headed to the Rensselaer April Invitational on April 13 in Troy, NY and then will run, throw and jump on Pritchard Track for the final home meet of the season in the Hamilton Mid-Week Meet on Thursday, April 16. They will have one more chance to qualify in the regular season following this meet, at the SUNY Geneseo Open on April 20.

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