The Emory track and field teams started their outdoor season on a high note with a first-place finish out of 30 teams on the women’s side and a fifth-place finish out of 27 teams on the men’s side at the Emory Invitational this past weekend.

Freshman Patrick Crockett said the team felt very good with the start of the season and that morale was high at the moment.

“Getting fifth place for us is big for us,” Crockett said. “In the indoor’s [championship], we got seventh place so it’s a nice bump up. We are very proud of this performance and looking to keep getting better each week.”

On the women’s side, the No. 12-ranked Eagles won the meet with 122 team points and several impressive performances. Junior Isabel Saridakis broke her own school pole vault record of 3.68m with a height of 3.75m, a mark that is currently first in all of Division III.

Senior Dani Bland impressed with wins in the 100m (11.95) and 200m (24.78) dashes, with her 200m dash time placing her second nationally. Other event winners included sophomore Susannah Martin in the 10,000m run (37:51.99) and the team of senior Kayla O’Shea, junior Ileana Zeissner, sophomore Olivia Hoekendijk and sophomore Ana Morris in the 4x800m relay. The group ran the relay in 9:51.47, emphatically beating the rest of the competition with the next team from Tennessee Wesleyan University finishing 14 seconds later. Senior Dilys Osei rounded off the impressive performances with a second-place finish in the 400m hurdles (1:03.52), missing first place by just three-tenths of second to sophomore Abigail Kirkland from the University of North Georgia.

While the women entered the event with high expectations, the men came in ranked 191st. Despite their low ranking, the team still managed to capture three first-place finishes during the invitational. Sophomore John Cox won the 5000m run with a time of 15:21.68 and Crockett won the gold in the javelin event with a distance of 48.94m. The team of sophomores Thomas Perretta, Jacob Hedgepeth, Jonathan Rosenfeld and freshman William McGuire turned in a time of 7:56.43 in their 4x800m relay victory. McGuire also claimed a second-place finish in the 1500m run with a time of 4:02.53.

Crockett talked about the keys to his performance and his excellent preparation for the event this past week.

“I wanted to stay relaxed and go out there and have fun with it,” Crockett said. “I’m still working on my approach and not worrying about faulting. I needed be aggressive and not hold back.”

Crockett and the rest of the team will hope to continue its strong form when the Eagles host the Emory Classic from March 29 to 30 at the Woodruff Physical Education Center.

Courtesy of Forrest Martin/Asst. Photo Editor