Sports

Home advantage allows many track team members to qualify for regionals

Seniors anchored the squads with strong performances in discus, pole vault and hurdles

By
Sports Staff Writer
Sunday, April 14, 2013

The men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in the Springtime Invitational last Saturday, hosting over 1,000 athletes from rival schools at Brown Stadium. Though the meet was not scored for teams, the Bears defended their home territory with multiple individuals winning their events.

“We really used the fact that we were competing at our home facility to our advantage,” said women’s co-captain Lacey Craker ’13. “There’s a level of comfort involved in competing where you practice.”

Craker herself benefited from the home-field advantage, winning the discus with a throw of 163 feet, 5 inches and the hammer throw with a mark of 192-6. Both throws surpassed ECAC-qualifying marks, earning Craker the right to compete at regionals in May. Craker called her performance “solid” and credited consistency in practice as the reason for her success.

The women also excelled at the javelin throw, with Niina Al-Hassan ’14 winning with a throw of 134-6 and Holleigh Bergstrom ’14 finishing in third with a mark of 129-9.

Hannah Wallace ’13 also hit an ECAC qualifying mark by jumping 12-5.5 on the pole vault, which earned her the win. Brown also earned first place in the high jump, with a winning height of 5-7 from Morayo Akande ’16.

Bruno’s success in the jumps continued with first-place performances from Brienna Crimmins ’14 and Osha Williams ’16. Crimmins won the long jump with a mark of 17-8.75, while Williams took first in the triple jump with a length of 37-8.

“The women did especially well in the long jump,” said Head Coach Tim Springfield. “Many of the athletes jumped very close to their personal records.”

The team also performed well on the track. Emma Suchland ’16 earned a runner-up spot in the 100-meter dash, finishing the event in 12.28 seconds, and Colby Lubman ’14 made the same place in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.33. In the 800-meter run, Sasha Teninty ’14 captured third by crossing the finish line in 2 minutes, 11.88 seconds.

On the men’s side, John Spooney ’14 led the team, winning both of his events. He won the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash with times of 10.65 and 21.66, respectively. He won the former event by a margin of .01 seconds, beating out rival Connor Reilly of Dartmouth, who had bested him in the preliminary heats. Spooney was also a member on the winning 4×100-meter relay team, which clocked a time of 41.62.

“There were a few execution efforts with my race, but overall it went very well,” Spooney said. “It’s always good to win against an Ivy League rival, and Reilly is definitely a tough competitor.”

In other runs, Colin Savage ’14 earned second place in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:53.23, and Ben Stephenson ’13 came in second in the 3000-meter steeplechase, finishing in 9:51.96. In the 400-meter hurdles, Zach Keefer ’13 finished five-tenths of a second behind first-place finisher Edward Wagner of Dartmouth.

“A lot of our sprinters did really well,” Spooney said. “There were some significantly good things you could see in the race that you couldn’t necessarily tell from the times our runners ran.”

The men’s team was led in the field by Courtland Clavette ’15, who put out another strong performance in the shot put, winning with a distance of 52-6.

“Clavette had strong form today,” Springfield said. “He’s been good all year, and (he’s) an integral part of our team.

Going into the final few weeks of the season, the players stressed the importance of practicing well, with Springfield calling Brown’s current practice workout “fruitful.”

“We just really need to focus in these last three weeks of training,” Craker said. “We have to perfect our technique and manage our adrenaline.”

Bruno will next compete at the Larry Ellis Invitational at Princeton Friday.

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