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.