The Oberlin College track and field teams lit up the track this weekend during the annual Bob Kahn Invitational, hosted at Oberlin, on Saturday. Instead of the usual NCAC opponents, this weekend the Yeomen competed with nationally ranked and Division II schools. The Yeowomen powered through to place third out of six teams with 121 points, while the Yeomen came in fourth out of five teams with a total of 134.83 points.
The field events started off the meet, and de spite the adverse weather conditions, both squads excelled in their respective events. On the women’s side, sophomore Larisa Lewis earned a season best in the shot with a throw of 11.65 meters, which put her in third place at the meet and was a top mark for the conference.
In the discus, sophomore Amethyst Carey and first-year Eleanor Van Buren sealed third and fourth place, respectively. Van Buren threw 30.16 meters, while Carey topped her at 34.63 meters.
Senior Mary Okoth also added points in the high jump, soaring to victory with a height of 1.47 meters. On the men’s side, junior Jeffrey Kawahara earned some key points by placing second in the long jump by leaping 5.90 meters, then proceeded to place first in the triple jump with a jump of 12.33 meters. Despite his success, Kawahara knows he didn’t perform his best in the competition.
“Many people struggled to jump well in the cold, so I don’t feel too disappointed,” he said. “I might not be jumping as far as I’d like yet, but I feel like I’m on the right track. I’m sure there’s not a single person who isn’t pushing [him] or herself to do even better at the next meet.”
The standout performances of the distance runners helped garner a majority of the points for both teams. Most notable this weekend was the 5,000-meter run for the Yeowomen, who swept the first three places in the event. Junior Sarah Jane Kerwin earned the title of NCAC distance runner of the week for her first place performance, crossing the finish line with a time of 17 minutes and 55.00 seconds, and was followed by Hannah Wolfe and Carey Lyons with times of 18:26.00 and 18:49.10, respectively.
In the men’s 5,000, sophomore Andrew Witcher crossed the finish line at 15:40.47 to earn second place.
“Sarah Jane Kerwin and Andrew Witcher’s performances in the 5k stood out the most to me,” former NCAC Runner of the Week and sophomore Geno Arthur said. “Sarah Jane won the 5,000 by a lot and looked really strong the whole race. Andrew got second in the men’s 5,000, but more importantly he had a huge personal best and really surprised himself.”
In the women’s 1,500-meter, junior Emma Lehmann clocked in at 4:47.00, missing the first spot by under a second. Senior Molly Martorella closed in to finish fourth with a time of 4:48.80, helping both women to take the top two rankings in the NCAC for the season.
The Yeomen also had a close race to the finish in the men’s 1,500, with sophomore duo Joshua Urso and Arthur crossing the line with a two-three finish, with times of 4:04.41 and 4:05.75, respectively.
In the sprint events, junior sprinter Jerry Choi led the pack with his first place time of 55.79 in the men’s 400-meter hurdles. Senior Jimmy Taylor pulled third in the 800 meter with a time of 1:58:75, just eight-tenths of a second behind first place.
Shortly after the meet, the team was already looking forward to its next competition.
“This weekend was a good chance for us to compete against some challenging teams before All Ohio this weekend,” said Carey. “I’m looking forward to channeling that same energy again for an awe some meet.”
The next meet will come on the road at the Bucknell University Bison Outdoor Classic on Friday, April 11. Meanwhile, the Yeomen and Yeowomen who qualified for the All-Ohio Championships will be traveling to Ohio Wesleyan University on Saturday to compete against the top DIII runners in the state.