Yeo Baby! Women Place Second, Men Fifth at Track and Field Conference Championships

Molly Bloom, Staff Writer

The track and field team got the opportunity to flex their proverbial quads and biceps this weekend at the Indoor North Coast Athletic Conference Championship meet at Wabash College, proving why they are among the conference’s best. The Yeowomen utilized their superior balance — with contributions from distance, sprints and throws — to finish as runners-up to Ohio Wesleyan University, improving their third-place finish from a year ago. The men also turned in an impressive showing, finishing fifth in the nine-team field.

On the women’s side, sophomore Molly Martorella was once again the big story. Two weeks after defeating a school record with her 4 minutes 56.73 second mile at the Boston Valentine Invitational, Martorella smashed barriers again by running 4:58.32 and becoming the first woman in NCAC history to break five minutes in the championship meet. Martorella, a 2011 cross-country All-American, earned a trip to nationals with her time. She also doubled back to win the 3,000 with a time of 10:23.73, despite experiencing a little in-race adversity.

“Even after being tripped up in her race, she won,” said senior Shawn Chrapczynski. “Her efforts were seen by the coaches of the NCAC and she received the Most Outstanding Women’s Distance Runner of the meet.”

On the men’s side, junior Alex Guo led the way by scoring no fewer than one-third of the Yeomen’s 53 total points. Guo started things off on the first day of competition with 44-05.25 foot triple jump on his very first attempt, a distance that earned him a first-place finish. He followed this up on Saturday with a 21-05.50 foot-long jump that placed him second, just ahead of teammate Chrapczynski. Guo, a Yeomen co-captain who is the school record holder in both events, was named the NCAC’s Field Athlete of the Year for his notable performance.

His fellow co-captains, seniors Stephen Williams and Chrapczynski, turned out exciting races of their own, with Williams finishing fourth overall in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 15:20.85, destroying his seed time by almost 14 seconds, and sixth in the 3,000-meter run. After a season of ups and downs, Chrapczynski had a busy day in which he finished sixth overall in the 60-meter dash, seventh in the 200-meter dash, and placed fourth running the anchor leg of the 1:33.90 4×200 meter relay. Despite his lack of training, Seth Flatt, a first-year two-sport athlete, placed fifth in the high jump with a height of 6 feet, 3/4 inches.

“Flatt impressed me this past weekend,’ said Chrapczynski. “Coming out of basketball season, this was his first-ever meet.” Juniors Sean Dembowski and co-captain Vlad Bursuc placed eighth and 10th, respectively, in the Men’s heptathlon. The highlights of the seven-event competition were Dembowski’s second-place finish in the 1,000-meter run and Bursuc’s third-place finish in the pole vault.

The coinciding event for the women is the pentathlon, consisting of five events. Senior Ryann McChesney and sophomore Ava Keating competed for Oberlin, placing sixth and seventh respectively.

McChesney also scored in the 400-meter dash and the mile relay with first-year Margaret Miller, first-year Annie Field and junior Amanda Gracia. Their impressive time of 4:12.47 granted them third place in the conference.

The Yeowomen impressively managed without the services of two sprinting stalwarts, junior Marissa Clardy and sophomore Sophia Brancazio, who were on personal leaves last weekend.

“The 4×400 line-up was being changed up until it was run, and they still pulled out an All-Conference performance. It really spoke to the depth of our team,” said senior co-captain Sam Dudzinski, who finished sixth in the shot put.

First-year Tiffany Henry placed third in the conference in the shot put, re-setting her own school record, and senior co-captain Courtney Konow was seventh.

Junior Jasmine Owens epitomized a multi-event athlete, scoring in the 60-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, the triple jump, the long jump and the 4×200 meter relay. Her best performance was in the long jump, where she placed third with a jump of 32-06.50 feet.

“She really stepped up in all her events and scored a bunch of points for us,” said Guo.

As for the team? It’s already looking to the future.

Dudzinski called the performances “a great way to start training for our outdoor season.”

The athletes have a break before competitions begin for the spring track and field season, and the results of the indoor championships left both the Yeomen and Yeowomen with a positive outlook.