The track and field teams had a busy weekend as they split forces to compete at three different meets across the country. Traveling the farthest were nine distance runners who competed Friday evening at the Stanford Invite in Palo Alto, Calif. Dan Lowry '12, Olivia Mickle '13 and Heidi Caldwell '14 set school records in their respective events as they competed against some of the top collegiate distance runners in the country.
"I think the opportunity to take our currently fastest athletes out to a meet like that was a reward that was well earned," said Mitchell Baker, the women's distance coach. "It shows the type of hard work that we've been putting in and the level of athleticism that is on the team."
Lowry, the fourth-best 5,000-meter runner in the nation, finished the 5,000-m run in 13 minutes, 34 seconds, a time that earned him eighth in the first heat of the race.
"When you get close to 13:30, that's really significant," said Tim Springfield, the men's distance coach. "The other thing is the quality of the athletes behind him in that race. I was just really impressed with his effort and ability to race in that environment."
Lowry's time in the event is not only the fastest in Brown history, but the second-fastest ever in the Ivy League. As it stands, Lowry's time will also likely be fast enough to qualify him to compete at the Olympic trials.
"At the beginning of the race, I was towards the back," Lowry said. "With three laps to go, the leaders started to really pick it up and I went with them. The record wasn't on my mind at all, but I saw the clock and I thought, 'If I close fast, I can get the record.'"
On the women's side, Caldwell finished the 5,000-meter in 16:06 to finish seventh in the second heat and break the school record by 16 seconds along the way.
"Heidi was able to shine the way that she is capable," Baker said. "When you take one lap at a time and just race, pretty good things can happen."
Mickle ran a time of 33:59 in the 10,000-meter run and came in 10th in heat two, improving upon the school record set over 30 years ago by more than 40 seconds.
"(Mickle) started leading some groups and closing the gap on one group after the next," Baker said. "Olivia looked so relaxed at that pace and was making all the right moves and showing all the right instincts."
The push for excellence continued Saturday at the George Davis Invitational hosted by UMass Lowell, as the women's team earned five titles and the men recorded four first-place finishes. John Spooney's '14 first-place effort in the 200-meter dash was the highlight on the men's side and Susan Scavone '12 turned in yet another championship performance in the women's 100-meter hurdles.
A final contingent of throwers competed at the Corsair Classic Invitational hosted by UMass Dartmouth, where Bruno won three individual titles and both teams finished fifth overall. The Bears swept in the shot put with Jessica Eason '14 winning for the women and Daniel Smith '13 claiming the top spot for the men.
The teams will be back in action April 14 when they host the Brown Invitational.