Track & Field

Junior Ariana Newhouse sprints the 400m dash at the Emory Invitational on March 24. Newhouse secured the No. 7 spot in the event out of 51 runners. Forrest Martin/Senior Staff

Emory’s track and field teams started off their outdoor season strong with an exceptional performance at the Emory Invitational on March 23 and 24. The Eagles clawed their way to a victorious first-place finish on the women’s side with 146.5 points, while the men’s team placed seventh out of 21 teams with 60 points.

The women’s team dominated the sprints with top spots in the 100m, 400m and the 4x100m relay. Senior Dani Bland’s winning time of 11.89 in the 100m along with her second-place finish in the 200m with a time of 24.77 place her second and third, respectively, on this season’s DIII national leaderboards. Senior Erica Goldman’s first-place finish of 56.13 in the 400m places her second overall in DIII.

Junior Dilys Osei also contributed a standout performance in the 400m hurdles, posting a time of 1:03.08 for third on the DIII leaderboard.

The meet also featured notable performances from freshman Rebekah Bondi, who won the long jump with a distance of 5.21, and sophomore Nyla Lindo, who obtained second place in the triple jump with a personal best distance of 11.35m. Bondi and Lindo notched 10 and 8 points for the Eagles, respectively.

On the men’s side, the Eagles’ top performances mostly came from their distance events.

The men’s sole win of the meet came in the distance medley relay with freshmen Thomas Perretta and Jacob Hedgepeth and seniors Max Brown and Robert Wilhelm beating out the pack with a time of 10:28.15.

“Our goal was to … get as close as we could to the school record as possible,” Wilhelm said. “We wound up a few seconds short of that, but we all performed pretty well.”

Other commendable performances included a third-place finish in the 4x800m relay featuring Peretta, senior Jason McCartney, freshman Jonathan Rosenfeld and freshman anchor Thomas Moxham, who finished with a solid time of 8:10.34. Sophomore Alex Campbell’s fourth-place finish in the steeplechase at 9:57.75 and sophomore Luis Torres’ third-place finish in the 5000m with a time of 15:12.15 both contributed to the Eagles’ effort.

Head Coach John Curtin told the Wheel that the first meet was a good start for the teams.

“There were some really great performances, there were some not so great performances and a lot of them in between,” Curtin said.  “I feel really good about the start, and we’re just going to have to continue to build from there.”

Despite the team’s strong performance, the Eagles were missing a few of their top contenders. Seniors Benjamin Rogin and captain Gabrielle Stravach are both out due to injuries, but Curtin hopes to get his entire team fit in preparation for the rapidly approaching University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships in May.

“[We] have to … build [our] season in a progressive manner so that we are ready to be at our best when it counts the most in May,” Curtin said.

The Eagles will return to the WoodPEC next weekend to host the Emory Classic on March 30-31.

Left: Sophomore Greta Wilker throws shot put at the UAA Championships at Case Western Reserve University (Ohio) Feb. 24-25. Wilker broke Emory’s record, achieving top throw with a distance of 12.32 meters. Courtesy of Greta Wilker

Right: Wilker prepares for the pitch during a doubleheader against Berry College (Ga.) Feb. 18. The Eagles shutout the Vikings 2-0, 1-0 in both match-ups. Courtesy of Greta Wilker

In one weekend, sophomore Greta Wilker may catch a softball doubleheader and board a flight to compete in a shot put event the next day. The two-sport Emory athlete boasts seven RBIs, a home run in seven games played and the title of top finisher in the shot put event in the University Athletic Association (UAA) Indoor Championships.

Wilker committed to Emory’s softball team as a catcher, and she found herself a star athlete on both the softball and track and field teams her sophomore year.

Juggling multiple sports is familiar to Wilker, who competed as a four-sport varsity athlete in high school. In her home town of Belding, Mich., Wilker was a member of her high school softball, track and field, volleyball and basketball teams.

“During my recruiting process, I was looking for a good academic school, a pre-med program and I wanted to go out of the state of Michigan,” Wilker said. “I got in touch with [softball Head] Coach Penny Siqueiros, and, after visiting campus a couple of times, I decided to commit to Emory.”

Wilker spent her freshman year at Emory as a single-sport athlete, making her collegiate debut on the softball team.

She kicked off her softball career with a bang, knocking a solo homerun over the fences in her first at-bat as an Eagle. During Wilker’s first year, she started in nine of the 18 games she played and amassed three hits and four runs in 21 at-bats.

With the softball and track and field seasons on the horizon for the Spring 2018 semester, Wilker had intended to only compete on the softball team again her sophomore year.

But after a conversation between Siqueiros and track and field Assistant Coach and throwers coach Luke Johnson, Wilker realized she could feasibly compete in both sports. After Johnson evaluated her shot put throws, he added Wilker to the team.

Johnson said he looked into bringing Wilker onto the team after Siqueiros approached him this semester and suggested that Wilker could effectively compete in both sports.

“I looked up [Wilker’s] high school statistics and was surprised to see she was much better than I anticipated,” Johnson said. “I set up a meeting with [Siqueiros] and I was willing to do whatever it took to get [Wilker] on the team due to her ability.”

Eager to compete in multiple sports as she did in high school, Wilker agreed to compete for both squads.

Johnson noted Wilker’s desire to keep a busy schedule by playing multiple sports.

“She was very busy in high school playing many sports, so she was active all the time,” Johnson said. “She was happy to get back in the swing of things and be a part of both softball and track and field.”

Wilker, who is majoring in anthropology and human biology, emphasized having a well-planned schedule to keep up with the two varsity teams. Although she attends both practices, she prioritizes softball.

“I have to be diligent with my schedule and knowing when I have to do certain tasks,” Wilker said. “Ultimately, it’s not too much of an added stresser switching from one sport to two from a time perspective. The biggest factor is having to keep up with the schedule for two different teams.”

In her first shot put competition the morning of Feb. 9, Wilker finished the event as the top NCAA Division III shot putter and No. 12 overall in the Dunamis Super Meet in Emerson, Ga. Her best throw traveled 11.74 meters.

That same day, Wilker returned to campus to face off against Birmingham Southern College (Ala.) in a softball doubleheader.

While the Eagles dropped the first game of the doubleheader 5-2, Emory bounced back to claim a 5-0 victory in the second. Unfazed by a long day of competing, Wilker launched a solo home run in the bottom of the third.

Later that month, Wilker flew to Cleveland for a meet on the night of Feb. 24, just hours after catching two games in a doubleheader against Covenant College (Ga.). The Eagles won both games of the back-to-back, 5-1 and 2-0.

Perhaps in her best athletic performance yet this season, Wilker broke a school record and achieved the top throw in the UAA Indoor Championships at Case Western Reserve University (Ohio) Feb. 25, with a distance of 12.32 meters.

“Winning UAAs has definitely been the highlight thus far of my collegiate shot putting experience,” Wilker said. “That weekend I started with two games that Saturday, and I flew to Cleveland that night to compete Sunday morning.”

Johnson said that Wilker’s natural talent allowed her to have immediate success on the collegiate shot put circuit.

“She was born with talent that a lot of people are not born with,” Johnson said. “It isn’t very often you can have an athlete go out there with limited practice and break the school record in her second collegiate meet.”

With an already busy start to her spring semester, Wilker is primed to have an equally busy few months to follow. The conference portion of the softball schedule lies just around the corner, as does the brunt of the outdoor track and field season. But for a former four-sport athlete, two sports should be a stroll through the ballpark. Or through the track field, in Wilker’s case.

The Emory women’s track and field team finished third with a total of 104 points in the University Athletic Association (UAA) Indoor Track and Field Championships this past weekend (Feb. 24-25), while the men’s team totaled 29 points to land in last place.

In the competition, held at at the Veale Athletic Center at Case Western Reserve University (Ohio), the University of Chicago women’s team took home first place while Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.) won the men’s side.

Head Coach John Curtin said the women’s score of more than 100 points would have been enough to win the UAAs in some of the past years but that the men’s team has never performed this poorly.

“[On the men’s side], we’re obviously very disappointed,” Curtin said. “[After the meet], our guys, we got together, and we took a long look at each other and saw each other’s faces and believe there’s too much talent in that room. We should’ve done better.”

On Saturday, the women’s team logged in a pair of All-UAA and third-place finishes. Junior Paris Wagner recorded a distance of 14.87m in the weight throw and freshman Rebekah Bondi finished with a personal-best mark in the long jump with a distance of 5.35m.

Senior captain Gabrielle Stravach seized a title on Sunday in the mile run. She dominated her opponents, winning the event by more than six seconds with 4:57.42, the second- fastest time ever in the event.

In the pole vault, freshman Andi Breitowich placed fourth, just outside the top three positions. Breitowich slotted in a career-best height of 3.37m.

Junior Dani Bland led the way for the Eagles on the second day of competition with three event titles: the 60m dash, the 200m dash and the 4x400m relay. In the 60m dash, Bland ran a personal best of 7.71, the fifth best women’s time in Emory history. In the 200m, she added a season-best time of 25.52. Her third title was in the 4×400 relay, which she clinched with teammates junior Dilys Osei, sophomore Kaitlyn Leonard and senior Erica Goldman with a time of 3:56.40.

Osei impressed in the 60m hurdles with a personal record of 8.98, the fourth fastest time in the history of the program.

The sixth title for the women’s side came from sophomore Greta Wilker in the shot put, who threw for a distance of 12.32m. Senior Kora Dreffs threw for 11.69m and finished in third place.

The Eagles added a third place effort from Goldman in the 400m dash with a time of 57.79.

On the men’s side, seniors Benjamin Rogin and Max Brown starred throughout the weekend. Rogin ran for second place in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.30 and tied the Emory record in the process. Brown added hardware with a third-place finish and second straight All-UAA finish with a time of 4:17.26 in the mile run.

Rogin said he was proud of his record tying performance.

“[It’s] something I’ve been going for [since] my freshman year,” Rogin said. “It’s a really cool experience and I’ve got two more meets. Hopefully, I can bring [the time] down and get the record [itself].”

Several Eagles just missed out on the podium. Sophomore Luis Torres placed fourth in the 5000m run with a time of 15:04.62. In the distance medley relay, sophomores Samuel Branson and Alex Rand, senior Robert Wilhelm III and Brown clocked in a time of 10:14.74. The total run is 4000 meters (a 1200-meter leg, a 400-meter leg, an 800-meter leg and a 1600-meter leg, in that order). Another fourth place finish from the Eagles was in 4x400m relay. Led by Rogin, Wilhelm, Rand and sophomore Aria Mohseni, the team rounded out the effort with a time of 3:26.86.

In regards to the team’s seventh-place finish, Rogin said the UAA has become more competitive over the past few years and that most of the team competed as well as they could.

“We had close to 30 records and competed the best they could,” Rogin said. “There’s something to be proud of. We had a lot of younger guys trying to adjust to the conference meet. We all know we can do a little bit better going into the outdoor season soon.”

The impending outdoor season signals a transition period for much of the team. Individual runners on the team will have differing training regimens based on the meets they plan to run, according to Curtin.

“Some of the kids will be running at Tufts [University (Mass.)] in the indoors, [but] a lot of the kids are resting and recovering from UAAs,” Curtin said. “We have one group going back to base work and building up fitness for the [outdoor events].”

The Eagles will have several athletes competing in last-chance meets this week, Mar. 3-4, at Tufts University before the NCAA DIII Indoor Championships at the Birmingham Crossplex Mar. 9-10.

Emory junior Dilys Osei competes in the 60m hurdles at the Crossplex Invitational Jan. 22. Osei finished No. 10 in the event with a time of 9.36. Wade Event Photography/Emory Athletics

The Emory track and field team started the new year with a first-place finish from the women’s team, while the men’s team finished in sixth place at Emory’s annual Crossplex Invitational in Birmingham, Ala., Jan. 22.

On the women’s side, senior Gabrielle Stravach led the way by setting a meet and personal record in the 3000m with a time of 10:14.93. She also broke a personal record in the 800m, finishing third with a time of 2:17.14. Freshman Carrie McIntyre made another notable finish, winning the 5000m with a time of 18:27.81 in her debut meet.

As strong as the team looked in its first-place performance, freshman Egan Kattenburg believes the team can still improve.

“We tried to make sure everyone was in shape,” Kattenburg said. “This tournament might not be the best marker for how fit everyone is. I think we’ll see faster times for both the long distance and short distance [runners].”

Senior Erica Goldman and sophomore Kaitlyn Leonard led the Eagles in the 400m dash, finishing fourth with a time of 57.99 and sixth with a time of 58.51, respectively.

In the distance medley relays, freshmen Talia Carlson and Lauren Rodriguez, junior Radhika Shah, and sophomore Ileana Zeissner took fourth place with a time of 12:57.22 while the other relay group, composed of freshman Ayla Kazemi, sophomore Nicole Steiner and juniors Kayla O’Shea and Maeve Andrews, finished in sixth place with a time of 13:01.70.

Three key performers starred in the field events. Senior Dara Liss and sophomore Isabel Saridakis tied for third in the pole vault with a mark of 3.10m. Freshman Rebekah Bondi placed second with a long jump distance of 5.12m.

The men’s team dominated the mile run, with three runners finishing in the top five. Senior Max Brown, freshman Jacob Hedgepeth and sophomore Samuel Branson finished second at 4:13.48, third at 4:24.19 and fourth at 4:24.31, respectively.

Seniors Benjamin Rogin and Robert Wilhelm III, sophomore Alex Rand and freshman Liam Fost crossed the finish line fourth in the 4×400 relay with a time of 3:26.67.

The team started preparing for this meet before the start of winter break. Though many runners returned home for the break, staying in shape remained a priority for the team. Some members of the team returned to campus early to train more.

“Early return [meant] our legs were little more tired [than usual],” Kattenburg said. “We put [in] a lot of volume over the last two weeks. I think getting back into a regular schedule and regular mileage [will] have us fresher and more ready.”

Both the women’s and men’s teams will return to the Birmingham Crossplex Jan. 28 to compete in the KMS Invitational.

Gearing up for the UAA Outdoor Championships April 22 to 23, Emory’s men’s and women’s track and field traveled to Sewanee University (Tenn.) to compete at the Mountain Laurel Invitational this past Friday. Out of the eight competing schools, the women took second place while the men fell short and landed in sixth place.

The Mountain Laurel Invitational featured only select athletes from the Emory team, offering an additional opportunity to prepare prior to next week’s UAA Outdoor Championships.

“There weren’t a lot of people who came out for this meet but everyone who did, including myself, was really glad about the extra practice before UAAs,” freshman Nathan Harper said.

Missing first place by a mere 10.5 points, the women were bested by Birmingham-Southern College (Ala.) and scored 194.5 team points. The meet featured 14 events and the women claimed first place in eight.

In the field events, freshmen Kaitlyn Iwanowicz and Isabel Saridakis took first in the long jump and pole vault, respectively. Saridakis set a mark of 3.20m in the pole vault and Iwanowicz took first with a jump of 4.93m. The team’s freshmen continued to shine with Gabrielle Davis winning the 100m hurdles by more than a one second margin, with a time of 15.91. First place in the steeplechase went to sophomore Kaylee Slade with a time of 11:57.64. Sophomore Radhika Shah raced a 2:20.84 in the 800m to win the event. Adding to the team’s barrage of top finishes, junior Dyess Verfurth finished with a time of 11:09.62 in the 3000m.

Performing better than ever this season, sophomore Dani Bland swept both her sprinting events. She clocked in with times of 12.18 and 24.66 in the 100m and 200m dash, respectively.

The men’s side struggled more than usual, posting 45 points and only one event win. The lone first-place finish went to junior Robert Wilhelm III in the 800m, who clinched the win by only 0.92 seconds with a time of 1:57.37. Later that day, senior Michael McBane pulled off a third-place showing in the 1500m with 4:00.43. Two other Eagles competed in the same event and scored team points. Senior Grant Murphy finished fourth, racing a time of 4:04.78, while freshman Stephen Fedec followed in fifth with a time of 4:07.69.

Also notable was freshman Nathan Harper who scored third place in both the pole vault and 110m hurdles. Harper cleared the bar at 3.66m in the pole vault and finished the 110m hurdles with a time of 18.66.

“I was very pleased with my pole vaulting,” Harper said. “But honestly for us, how we do relative to other teams at normal meets doesn’t really matter. We really try to just get those personal bests and use the meets as good practice so we perform well where it counts like at UAAs.”

The UAA Outdoor Championships on April 22 to 23 at the University of Chicago (Ill.) will give some of the Eagles a chance to qualify for NCAA Division III Championships May 25-27.

“The support the team gives each other really makes a huge difference at UAAs because the whole team is there,” Harper said. “That is really where it turns from an individual sport to more of a team sport. Your team being there and cheering you on puts on a lot of pressure to do well. Even if some athletes don’t score they will probably PR just because [of] all the energy present at the meet.”

On the road again after a strong showing at the Vertklasse Meeting March 31 and April 1, Emory women’s track and field captured first out of 17 schools while the men took second out of 16 at the Berry Field Invitational hosted by Berry College (Ga.) this past Saturday.

“We’re positioning ourselves to perform our best in UAA  championships which are a week from Saturday,” Head Coach John Curtin said. “We didn’t have all hands on deck from both teams, but I was very pleased with the performances of the kids we brought.”

The women took home first place with a total of 167 points. University of West Georgia took second place, trailing 52 points behind Emory. Sophomore Dani Bland broke a school record for the second time this outdoor season, this time in the 200m dash. Bland crossed the finish line in second place with a time of 24.41, breaking the previous record of 24.64.

“I have improved a lot mentally this year,” Bland said. “I ended up ninth at indoor nationals so I just used that frustration and [the knowledge] that I never wanted to feel that way again to fuel me in the outdoor season.”

Senior Mia Eisenhandler finished first in the 3000m steeplechase with a time of 11:20.12, her season-best. In the 400m dash, sophomore Ariana Newhouse placed first with a time of 58.00, closely followed by junior Erica Goldman who finished with a time of 58.39. Junior Gabrielle Stravach kept the Eagles’ momentum going with a personal record of 2:14.32 in the 800m, capturing first place. In the pole vault, freshman Isabel Saridakis jumped a mark of 3.20m to win the event. The women’s team ended the invitational stronger than ever with the 4x100m quartet of Newhouse, Bland, sophomore Dilys Osei and junior Julia Leventhal. The relay finished in first place with a time of 48.35 and secured yet another season-best time.

The men’s team took home second with 121.5 points, just six points behind meet champions Berry College. Leading the way in the individual events was junior Benjamin Rogin, who crossed the finish line first in both the 110m and 400m hurdles, setting a personal record of 14.84 in the 110m. Rogin joined classmate Max Helfman, freshman Aria Mohseni and senior Kyle Veator in the 4x100m for a third place win of 43.57.

Juniors Max Brown and Charlie Hu each placed in two events. Brown took second in the 1500m with a time of 3:57.70 as well as fourth in the 800m with a time of 1.55.07. Hu made big strides in the field events, placing second in the javelin with a mark of 47.76m and fifth in the high jump at 1.77m. By the end of the day, the invitational saw four more second-place finishes from the Emory men. Sophomore Zachary Lembersky threw a 41.4m mark in the hammer throw and sophomore Noah Elm ran 16.12 in the 110m hurdles following Rogin. Senior Michael Sisario placed second in the 5000m with a time of 15:11.57 while freshman Luis Torres took second in the 10000m with a time of 32:36.59.

The April 22 to 23 UAA Championships are approaching quickly for the Eagles, but first the team will be back on the track for the Mountain Laurel Invitational at Sewanee University (Tenn.) April 14 to 15.

“Right now, the focus is for our team to compete well on the championship level,” Curtin said. “All of the events leading up to championships [are] preliminary opportunities to prepare us to be at our best at the end of the season. Winning these meets along the way is great, but we know that the ones at the end of the season really matter.”

The Eagles had multiple top 20 performances against a field dominated by DI teams in their third to last meet before the UAA Championships. Although overall team scores were not calculated at the VertKlasse Meeting at High Point University (N.C.) and inclement weather paused the meet March 31, the Eagles built their confidence as they faced off against some of the toughest competition they have faced thus far.

“No one ran super fast times [because of the weather] but we did have our 10k runner, [senior] Sophie Cemaj, [earn] a really big PR on Friday night,” senior team captain Mia Eisenhandler said.

Cemaj placed first in the 1000m with a time of 38:26.73, the fifth best time in the history of the VertKlasse Meeting. Junior Gabrielle Stravach finished sixth overall in the 1500m with a time of 4:36.46, just 0.04 seconds off of her personal record, which is also Emory’s current school record. Stravach also placed No. 13 in the 800m with a time of 2:18.77. In another impressive performance, sophomore Bennett Shaw ran the 3000m steeplechase in 9:38.77, finishing third overall.

“[The steeplechase this weekend] was definitely a good performance for [Shaw],” senior Kyle Veator said. “We had some pretty bad weather too at this meet, so if you get a time like that it’s definitely notable.”

Freshman Nyla Lindo was named UAA Track athlete of the week due to her triple jump performance. Her 11.20m triple jump earned her eleventh place in the meet and placed her ninth in the country among DIII athletes and first in the UAA.

Additionally, senior Michael McBane placed seventeenth  in 1500m with a time of 4:03.60; senior Casey Rhode placed 17th in the 10000m with a time of 35:30.69; freshman Luis Torres placed twentieth in the 5000m with a time of 15:47.08; senior Mia Eisenhandler placed sixth in the 3000m steeplechase with a time of 11:26.76 and sophomore Jordan Small placed tenth in the high jump with a height of 1.43m.

With a wide variety of team talent, some athletes attempted to qualify for nationals at this meet while others aimed to earn a spot in UAA Championship.

Freshman Jackson Holt explained that coaches select the conference squad based on how team members rank in relation to their competitors in the UAAs.

“We only took a small group [to the VertKlasse Meeting], so it will definitely be more exciting when we get to UAAs with all our top performers there,” Eisenhandler said.

From now until the UAA Championship, the team is ramping up practice and honing in on the next two meets.

“We’re doing a little bit less volume I would say but definitely increasing the intensity, just trying to make practice feel like meets,” Holt said. “We’re definitely putting a lot of focus on these next couple meets because for some [these meets are their] last chance … to get really good marks going into conference and nationals.”

According to Eisenhandler, only a small portion of the team went to the VertKlasse Meeting because either some members need a break or there wouldn’t be great competition in that member’s particular event.

However, Holt said that the meet proved valuable due to the high volume of DI teams.

“We don’t get to compete against that good of schools all the time,” Holt said. “We got some pretty good experience.”

The Eagles’ path to the UAA Championships continues April 7 to 8 as some members will compete at the Berry Field Day Invitational (Ga.) and other members at the Tiger Classic (Ala.).

Freshman Kaitlyn Leonard (Center) races in the women's 400m dash. Leonard finished No. 17 in the event with a time of 59.35. Matthew Hammond/Senior Staff
Freshman Kaitlyn Leonard (Center) races in the women’s 400m dash. Leonard finished No. 17 in the event with a time of 59.35. Matthew Hammond/Senior Staff

In their second consecutive home meet, Emory’s women’s track and field team placed fourth out of 26 schools, while the men placed third out of 21 schools in the Emory Classic March 24 to 25. The teams also accumulated a total of 28 personal bests.

“The kids performed amazing both days across all events,” Head Coach John Curtin said. “The meets so far have been really good to us and we’ve been blessed with good weather. Overall, the level of competition has been outstanding. Every single person on the team is challenged [and] there’s plenty of competition at all levels, which is really important.”

The men’s team earned 77 total points and dominated the 4x800m relay, winning first and second place. First place went to Emory’s team of freshman Samuel Branson, senior Michael McBane and juniors Max Brown and Robert Wilhelm III, with anchor Brown crossing the finish line with a time of 7:53.54. Sophomore Ian George, junior Gregory Litle and seniors Brandon Cromer and Jake Schlessinger took second place in the event, trailing 21.07 seconds behind first.

Junior Benjamin Rogin added eight points from both hurdle events, taking fourth in the 110m hurdles with an impressive time of 15.20 and sixth in the 400m hurdles with a time of 55.27.

“I’m definitely happy with how I’ve been racing, but I do want to train harder and do better to move on to national meets and win there,” Rogin said.

Another strong individual performer was junior Charlie Hu, who took first in the triple jump with a mark of 14.02m. Hu went on to score in the top eight of the javelin throw, long jump and high jump.

The men’s 4x100m relay team also shone, placing seventh overall with a finishing time of 42.85. The team consisted of Rogin, junior Max Helfman, freshman Aria Mohseni and senior Kyle Veator.

The women’s team performed well across the board, registering 87 team points. As for individual performances, sophomore Dani Bland took the spotlight. Bland scored second place in the 100m dash with a time of 11.70, smashing the previous Emory record of 11.90. Just last week, Bland became the second Eagle ever to break 12 seconds in the 100m event.

Following Bland’s lead, Emory accrued a slew of second place finishes. One went to the 4x800m relay team of freshmen Jordan Burgess and Nicole Steiner, sophomore Radhika Shah and junior Gabrielle Stravach. The team finished with a time of 9:29.48. Stravach went on to claim second in the 1500m run with a time of 4:40.99.

The Eagles placed second in the 4x400m relay with freshman Kaitlyn Leonard, junior Erica Goldman and sophomores Dilys Osei and Ariana Newhouse with a time of 3:52.24. Freshman Isabel Saridakis added another second place in the pole vault, pulling off a 3.22m mark.

The Eagles have said goodbye to their home track for the rest of the season, and will  return to competition March 31 to compete at the Vertklasse Meeting at High Point University (N.C.).

“Saturday really pointed out to everyone what a great team this is and the type of culture we have,” Curtin said. “Everyone knows that regardless of what their event is, they’re part of our team. Everyone on the team respects all the different disciplines of the sport and it really shows through.”

Junior Benjamin Rogin races ahead to a fourth place finish in the 110m hurdles.
Junior Benjamin Rogin races ahead to a fourth place finish in the 110m hurdles. Gemy Sethaputra/Staff

Emory’s men’s and women’s track and field team opened the outdoor portion of their season at home this past weekend, March 17 and 18, at the WoodPEC. Out of 33 teams, the men placed seventh with 45 points, and the women placed fourth out of 35 schools.

“I told the team before they left for spring break that there was no reason to not go all in to [the] outdoor season,” Head Coach John Curtin said. “[The athletes] responded and I was thrilled to see 31 personal bests this weekend, which usually doesn’t happen.”

The women’s 4x800m relay team kicked off the event by crossing the finish line first with a time of 9:46.10. The team consisted of freshmen Jordan Burgess, Meredith Hughes and Nicole Steiner and sophomore Maeve Andrews. Sophomore Ariana Newhouse finished first in the 400m dash with a time of 56.76, the fastest Division III 400m time in the country this year. Sophomore Dani Bland’s second-place finish in the 100m dash made her the second female athlete in Emory history to break 12 seconds with a time of 11.99.

“For this to be the first meet of the [outdoor] season makes it even more amazing,” Curtin said. “We had some truly mind-blowing performances.”

On the men’s side, the distance medley relay team of freshman Samuel Branson, junior Shane Sullivan and seniors Brandon Cromer and Michael McBane demolished the competition by more than two seconds, finishing with a time of 10:23.10 and breaking the school record in the process.

“The whole team was really excited for the men’s distance medley relay team,” senior Kyle Veator said. “Seeing them put in the hard work not only made a lot of our athletes proud but really inspires us to work hard for the rest of the season.”

Veator, along with freshman Aria Mohseni and juniors Benjamin Rogin and Max Helfman, led the 4x100m relay team to seventh place with a time of 43.14. Rogin clinched fourth place in the 110m hurdles with a time of 15.00 seconds, the sixth fastest DIII time in the country.

The Eagles will compete at home for the second and final time this season at the Emory Classic on March 24 to 25.