Track and Field Nabs NCAC Accolades with Kenyon Meet


OC Athletics

Senior captain E.J. Douglass edges past a Grove City runner in the Dan Kinsey Invitational in February. This weekend, track and field will head to Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, MI, and Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio.

Julie Schreiber, Sports Editor

The Yeowomen track and field team triumphed for the second time this spring by securing a first-place finish at the Kenyon College Invitational last Saturday with 261 points. On the men’s side, Oberlin finished in third place with 115.50 points among the seven-team field. Head Coach Ray Appenheimer said he was pleased with the teams’ performances in preparation for the North Coast Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships in Greencastle, IN, May 5–6.

“Everything we’re doing right now is in anticipation of those two days in Indiana,” he said. “The dominant performances from both teams were a wonderful precursor to the conference meet.”

The women’s events throughout the day were filled with Oberlin victories. On the field, junior Monique Newton’s toss of 45 feet, 8 inches elevated her to first place in the shot-put, and she later took home the title in the discus throw with a mark of 143–06. First-year Maya English won the hammer throw with a launch of 143–03 while senior Jillian Hostetler braved the weather in the javelin and claimed a first-place finish with a toss of 119–01.

“The weather wasn’t great,” Hostetler said. “It was a little windy, which can be problematic for javelin throwing, but what you can do is make the best of it and find the positive attitude you need when you’re competing.”

The Yeowomen also dominated in the track events with wins in numerous sprints and hurdle races. Sophomore Madeleine Weiland sprinted to first place in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, posting a time of 11 minutes, 43.45 seconds, and was later awarded the NCAC Athlete of the Week for her performance. Oberlin also had a pair of second-place finishes as first-year Shannon Wargo completed 800 meters in 2:21.15, while first-year Marija Crook crossed the 1,500 meter line at 4:56.97.

For the Yeomen, junior James Tanford garnered big wins on both the track and the field. Tanford had a busy day, beginning with a win in the 200-meter with a time of 22.75 seconds, followed by second-place in the triple jump with a mark of 41–05 and third-place in the long jump at a distance of 20–03 3/4. For his achievements, the Bloomington, IN, native earned the NCAC Athlete of the Week award.

“Mentally, I was very focused and ready to go,” he said. “I wanted to show them that I was ready to compete.”

The Yeomen also had success during the 4×400-meter relay as sophomore John Olsen, Tanford and first-years Julian Guerrieri and Dylan Rogers claimed first place, crossing the line at 3:25.93. On the field, sophomore Hank Sinn won the men’s hammer throw with a toss of 171 feet, 04 inches. With just one weekend of competition to go before the conference meet, Tanford said the team is prepared to thrive.

“We had a ton of personal bests, multiple NCAC athletes of the week and even a women’s victory,” Tanford said. “I think our team is ready to dominate at conference.”

In Columbus, Ohio, junior Lilah Drafts-Johnson was the only Oberlin representative at the Ohio State University Jesse Owens Classic last Saturday. Battling Division I and Division II participants, she broke her own school record in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:01.54 to claim fourth place. Her mark places her in fifth place nationally among Division III runners and qualifies her for the NCAA Outdoor Championships. With her successful individual performance, Drafts-Johnson said she remains focused on the NCAC Outdoor Championships.

“We have a very good chance of winning the conference meet,” she said. “It will require a lot of work from the entire team, but we know how to do that.”