Last Saturday, the men’s and women’s track and field teams traveled to Cedarville, Ohio to compete in the Yellow Jacket Collegiate Open. The Leafs’ day began early with a 5:00 a.m. departure from Goshen.The weather conditions were less than ideal for an outdoor meet, as the team faced winds of 29 mph and gusts up to 54 mph. Additionally, there was a lightning strike near Cedarville University facility that caused the meet to be delayed by an hour and a half.
For the women’s track team, freshman Mady Axsom tied for fourth in the high jump with a height of 1.53 meters (5 feet, 0.25 inches).
On the track in the 1500 meter race, junior Mia Wellington ran a time of 5:18.65, placing 18th; freshman Mercy Chebet finished in 5:25.48, placing 21st; and sophomore Stephany Claudio had a time of 5:29.20, finishing 25th out of 57 runners. All three women also ran the 800 two hours later, in which 42 runners competed. Wellington placed 12th with a time of 2:31.81, Claudio finished in 17th with a time of 2:39.33 and right behind Claudio was Chebet in 18th with a time of 2:39.48.
Junior Willow Kenneda threw in three events. Her first event was the hammer throw, in which she threw a distance of 38.16 m (125’ 2”), placing 23rd of 50 athletes. In the second event, shot put, Kenneda threw 10.35 m (33’ 11.5”), placing 15th of 37 athletes. Kenneda had the most success in her last event, discus, in which she threw a distance of 41.12 m (134’ 11”), earning her third place. She fell just short of the school discus record, missing it by just three inches. Reflecting on her experience, Kenneda said, “Saturday was a good start to the year, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the outdoor season and hopefully some much-needed better weather.”
Overall, the women placed 14th out of 20 teams.
The men placed 17th of 21 teams. In the 100-meter dash, senior Samuel Stoner-Eby ran 11.09 seconds, placing him sixth of 71 runners. In the 1500, freshman Anthony Roberts ran a time of 4:17.08. Roberts placed seventh overall and won his heat with a sprint finish. Sophomore Jordan Garlinger finished the 1500 with a time of 4:18.04, placing ninth of 96 athletes. Kevin Liddell, also a sophomore, crossed the line at 4:28.91, placing 26th.
Junior Emanuel Villanueva ran the 1500 in 4:41.10. His sprint finish left his heat behind by a significant margin. When asked about running in the severe winds, he said, “I tucked in behind people and tried to work with what I had. The conditions weren’t ideal, but you just gotta work through it.”
Stoner-Eby, Roberts and Garlinger also competed in the 800 race two hours later. Garlinger placed seventh of 70 athletes, running a time of 2:03.28; Roberts placed 20th in 2:05.86 and Liddell finished 27th, running 2:07.52.
The next meet is Friday at Marian University in Indianapolis, where the weather is projected to be cold, rainy and slightly windy.