Track and Field Shines at Kenyon Invitational

Suzanna Doak

Last weekend the track and field team traveled to Gambier, OH, for the Kenyon College invitational. There they competed against eleven other colleges, including challenging competitors Ohio Wesleyan University, The College of Wooster, Ohio Northern University and Otterbein University. The women placed second overall with a total score of 107.5, falling only to Ohio Wesleyan by 7.5 points. The Yeomen finished in 8th place out of 14 with a total of 48 points.

“It was a wonderful step forward as we move toward the conference meet,” said Head Track and Field Coach Ray Appenheimer. “It’s the time of year where you want to see people throwing farther, jumping higher, and that’s exactly what we saw; there was so much confidence and in every event we saw personal bests.”

The Yeowomen saw at least one runner finish within the top five of their category and often two, in 11 of 19 different events. Standouts included sophomore Larisa Lewis, who won shotput with a mark of 11.64 meters, while fellow Oberlin competitor, junior Tiffany Henry, took third after throwing 11.08 meters. Henry was not to be outdone, however, and went on to win the discus throw with 37.23 meters, bumping her to second place in the event for the North Coast Athletic Conference. Falling short of the top throw by just 3.69 meters, Henry was named NCAC Athlete of the Week.

Junior Margaret Miller dominated her events and set new personal season records in the 100- and 200-meter dash. Sitting at 10th in the NCAC for the 100 meters and 7th for the 200, Miller ran a 12.93 and 26.70, respectively. Senior Molly Martorella, one of the team’s strongest runners, easily won the 1500 meters with a time of 4 minutes and 42.96 seconds, while junior Carey Lyons place third with a time of 4:55.12.

Appenheimer cited first-year Kyle Tribble as a standout with his third-place run in the men’s 800-meter dash, clocking in at 2:00.25. Sophomore Samuel Black also had great races, finishing third and fifth in his events, the long jump and 100 meters, respectively.

“I was originally a sprinter, so I only worked on sprinting drills, but this past Thursday [Assistant Track and Field] Coach [Ray] Harris asked me about doing long jump, and I said ‘why not?’” Black said. “The practice went well, and he decided to place me in the event for Saturday. I had no idea how I was going to do, so coming in third was a huge surprise! I was very excited that I had found a new event that I could excel at. In the 100 meters, I PR’d by half a second, which was also a total surprise. [Associate Head Track and Field] Coach [Jason] Hudson told me to become more relaxed while running and not tense up, and obviously it was great advice.”

Distance runner and sophomore Robert Moreton competed in the 1500 and finished with an impressive final time of 4:06.74, placing him fourth in the meet and eighteenth in the NCAC.

“The most challenging part was running both the 1500 and the 800. It’s a common thing to do, but that doesn’t make it easy. I was fresh for the 1500, but the 800 was only about two hours later, and I was definitely still tired from the 1500,” Moreton said. “My preparation for the 800 was completely mental; I resigned myself to the pain, and committed to running as hard as I could despite it. Funnily enough, that’s how I prepare for most of my races.”

As the season winds down and NCAC championships approach, Coach Appenheimer reflected on the growth of the team as a whole this spring on the heels of the satisfying accomplishments at Kenyon. Not only focused on the individual times and results, Appenheimer cited the close-knit unity of the team as a contributing factor.

“I feel it is a typical Oberlin College story, where you take these individuals from different backgrounds, and you watch them become this cohesive, supportive family. It’s what I value the most about working and coaching here,” he said. “The reason why people choose it is because they yearn for community and want to be nurtured and supported. It makes my job easy, because although it may appear to be an individual sport, these students want to come together and find a common ground.”

Individuals have two more opportunities to qualify for the NCAC conference championships at Hillsdale College on Friday, April 25 and at Ashland University on Saturday and Sunday. The team will return home May 2 and 3 to host the conference tournament and hopes to send a strong contingency to the National Championships in late May.