Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Oberlin Track & Field Competes at NCAC Indoor Track & Field Championships

The Oberlin men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in the NCAC Indoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday. The men’s team finished in third place while the women’s team finished in seventh place. At the end of the meet, third-year Kambi Obioha was also named the NCAC Sprint/Hurdles Athlete of the Year. 

Both teams tallied a number of podium performances throughout the course of the meet. On the men’s side, third-year Walter Moak set a personal best and placed first in the mile, and second-year Namu Makatiani beat out competition in the triple jump to claim first place. The men’s 4×400-meter relay team consisting of third-year Cole Fuller, first-year Armand Andry, Obioha, and Moak also clinched first place,  setting a new NCAC Championship record previously set by Wittenberg University in 2013. 

Obioha and third-year Sam Fechner placed second and third respectively in the 400-meter dash, and fourth-year Jake Jarvis came in second place in the long jump. Both the men’s 4×200 relay, consisting of first-year Oliver Briger, third-year Reese Hyatt, Fechner, and Andry, and the men’s Distance Medley Relay consisting of second-year Liam Newman, Obioha, first-year Piers Shirk, and Moak came in second place. Additionally, fourth-year Isaiah Schuham-Anders came in third place in weight throw. 

On the women’s side, fourth-year Hayden Hill headlined the events, coming in first place in the pentathlon, third place for triple jump and the 400, fourth place in high jump, and contributing to a fourth-place finish for the 4×200 team, along with second-years Ryley Steggall, Anna Fritz, and Clara Smith. Fourth-year Margo Lee also placed sixth in the mile while fourth-year Eliza Medearis placed fifth in the 3,000-meter run. 

Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Ray Appenheimer was pleased with the results of the meet for both teams. In particular, he noted his pride at seeing athletes progress and grow over the course of the season culminating in the final indoor meet. 

“It was a really exciting weekend,” Appenheimer said. “It’s always the best to get to see the athletes on the biggest stage they get to be on right now. So many folks on the team hit lifetime bests, scored at a meet they’d never been to before, and again handled those … pressure-filled, anxiety-filled, exciting moments, and just competed their best.” 

Obioha was also pleased with the meet results. He mentioned feeling motivated by the team’s traditional underdog status. 

“I’m so glad to be on a team that is seen as underdogs but surprises other schools out of the blue,” Obioha said. “When we got to Kenyon [College], we really wanted to show the coaches and other schools that we can do better.”

Hill and second-year Amber Borofsky both emphasized the team’s energy and enthusiasm at the meet. 

“This conference meet, we brought the glitter, the Yeo-baby PR jacket, and, as usual, lots of noise!” Hill wrote in an email to the Review. “We bring the energy, enthusiasm, and noise every meet, for every team member competing.”

Borofsky echoed Hill’s sentiment, adding that this energy is something that the team had been working on all season. 

“This season we talked a lot about making every meet feel like a home meet, meaning that we cheered our hearts out for each other throughout the competition and brought more energy than any other team,” Borofsky wrote in an email to the Review. “This seamlessly carried over to conferences, where we made sure to show up for each other and stay positive all weekend.” 

Appenheimer mentioned that fostering the positive energy among the entire team is one of his coaching strategies. 

“We celebrate,” Appenheimer said. “That’s what this team does. You see your teammates, and you celebrate what they’re bringing to this thing, and you celebrate their efforts, their accomplishments, their achievements.”

Moving into the outdoor season, both coaches and athletes on the team agreed that the team still has a lot of potential. Appenheimer emphasized that even the results from the meet that fell short of goals were great moments for growth for many athletes, especially moving into the outdoor season. 

“We’re okay putting ourselves out there even if we don’t achieve the goals we want, because again, you get to figure it out, you get to know, and you get to move on and be better,” Appenheimer said. 

Obioha talked about the consistent improvement he’s seen from his teammates in the 4×400, and he mentioned that they aim to continue to cut their time going into the outdoor season. 

“What our four-by-four has done in the past week, we feel pretty good about going into outdoors,” Obioha said. “We’re pretty much not done yet.” 

Both the men’s and women’s teams will travel to the University of Mount Union on Saturday for the final indoor meet of the season. Races will begin at noon. 

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