Wooster’s men’s and women’s track and field teams had strong showings last week at the Bob Kahn Invitational at Oberlin College held on Saturday, April 6, and a dual meet at Denison University held on Wednesday, April 10.
Both meets showed considerably strong showings from Wooster’s underclassman student athletes as well as their noteworthy seniors. At Denison, the Scots won 20 events with the women’s team winning by a handily 90-65, while the men’s team came up short in a close contest of 71-75. Both teams had much to be proud of at the two meets going forward the regular season.
At the Bob Kahn Invitational, Wooster had standout performances among the crowded event. The Scots were the only team to participate in the 10,000-meter run for both the men’s and women’s categories, respectively. David Westcott ’19 lead the pack with a 32:03.70, while Isabelle Hoover ’22 ran a 38:51:65 as the only runner in the whole event. The Fighting Scots swept both 4×400 meter relays including first and second place for the men’s team. For both the women’s and men’s 100-meter dash, Wooster had three out of the top five runners, including a first-place finish by Claudia Partridge ’22 with a time of 13.654 edging out her fellow teammate Morgan Kormer ’22 by 0.001 seconds.
Brian Lief ’19 surged past the competition in the 5,000-meter run with a 16:14.49, five seconds faster than second place. Akwia Tilton ’20 came within in 0.01 seconds of first in the 200-meter dash with a 25.88.
The Scots were edged out of the top five places in only four races; however, Wooster also fielded the fewest runners in all those events. Overall, the Scots had a strong showing across all events between both teams that would lead them well into their dual meet at Denison.
The Denison meet saw the first-years on the women’s team shine. The women’s team cruised to a 90-65 victory led by Maya Vasta ’22 taking first in all five of her events to net the Scots 25 points. Other multi event winners were Korri Palmer ’20 in the 4×400 meter relay and the 100-meter dash with a time of 13.38 and Partridge in the 4×200 and high jump clearing 5 feet, one inch. Wooster had three other first-years win their events. Kayla Bertholf ’22 won the 800 meter by three seconds with a time of 2:34.41, Hoover won the 1,500 meter and Saralee Renick ’22 won the triple jump. Georgia Hopps-Weber ’21 took first place in the pole vault on her first try clearing 10 feet, 6 inches.
Wooster’s first-years alone put up an astonishing 50 points to put the Scots ahead in a blowout victory for the women’s team.
“Generally, I think the team likes to think of meets as intense practices leading up to conference,” said Christine Weber ’21, who came within four meters of the school record in the hammer throw thanks to the mindset.
The women’s team won 11 out of 16 events to put them in a great spot going into the conference and give them the final mental push they need.
The men’s team faced a more evenly matched Denison squad. The Scots fell 71-75 in a close matchup that saw first place finishes divided almost evenly.
Sophomore Drake Pence ’21 won all three of his events in the 100- and 200-meter dashes as the only Wooster runner as well as the 4×100 relay. Lief topped 16 other runners in the 800 with a time 0.64 seconds shy of two minutes. Despite coming in first in nine out of 16 events, it was not enough to overcome the sturdy Denison team who fielded two runners in two more events Wooster was absent from to net them eight extra points.
Wooster’s next event will be held in Gambier, Ohio for the Kenyon Invitational this Saturday, April 20. After that, they will be faced against the Denison Big Red yet again as they travel to Granville, Ohio for the Denison Invitational.
(Photo from Wooster Athletics)