Competition Runs Away from Colgate at Track PL Championship

Garrett Ley

The Colgate track and field teams wrapped up the 2009 indoor track seasons at the Patriot League Championships hosted by Navy last weekend. The women’s team, lead by senior Curry Knox and sophomore Michele Miller, both first-team All-League performers, finished sixth. The men’s team finished seventh in the eight-team meet.

“In many ways, our sixth-place finish reflects on the size of our team,” Knox said of the women’s team. “We have one of the smallest teams competing in the Patriots year in and year out. It’s difficult to compete with teams that are two or three times the size of us.”

Individually, Knox continued her stellar senior year by capturing first place and breaking the school record in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.80. She finished second in her race and set another school record in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.32, and also notched a 7.68 in the 60-meter dash to place second.

“I think it has a lot to do with consistency in training and also becoming more technically skilled as the season moves forward,” Knox said of her success. “I find myself working on the technical things during practice, and it really helps.”

Miller earned first-team All Patriot League accolades after she blew away the competition in the 400-meter dash, finishing with a time of 58.08. The women’s distance medley team composed of junior Ashley Niness and first-years Chelsea Burns, Alexandra Atkinson and Elise DeRoo finished in second place and earned eight points with a time of 12:07.97. The 4×400 relay team placed fifth, with a time of 3:58.01, while the 4×800 relay team dramatically improved off its preliminary time to place fifth with a time of 9:20:85.

The Raiders who qualified for the ECAC Championships will be in action on Saturday, March 7 in Boston, while the rest of the team will prepare for the outdoor track season that begins with the Ithaca Invitational three weeks later.

There are no hard feelings with the men’s indoor track team’s seventh-place finish at the Patriot League Championships, as the young Raiders are eager to build upon this season during the outdoor track season.

“Due to injuries and sickness, many of our runners who expected to score weren’t able to pull off big races,” sophomore Dan Gleason said, who holds the school record in the mile. “But frankly, this was a rebuilding year for us. We’re a young team, and we were looking to get experience in this meet rather than score big points.”

The Raiders piled up 12 points in a meet that was dominated by Army, which took home the title after accumulating 188 points. Bucknell (129) finished second and Navy (103) was third.

The final day of competition was highlighted by Gleason, who clocked a personal-best 4:14.77 in the mile to finish fifth and earn two points. Other Raiders who earned points in individual events were sophomore captain Ed Boulat in the 1,000-meter run and first-year Alex Coco in the 60-meter hurdles.

The Colgate relay teams fared well, capturing three top-five finishes. The men’s distance relay team consisting of junior Jeremy Fisher, Boulat, sophomore Jonathan Knowlton and Gleason finished fourth with a time of 10:14.96. The 4×400 and 4×800 relay teams both finished in fifth place and earned two points each.

Though the indoor season is over, several runners qualified individually for the IC4A Championship in Boston on March 7. The bulk of the team now turns its attention to the outdoor track season, which kicks off at Navy on Saturday, March 28.

“Our overall performance this weekend was disappointing compared to our fourth-place finish last year, but the outdoor season is just around the corner,” Gleason said.

The 2009 men’s track team is checkered by youth, demonstrated by the fact that 21 of the 27 active Raiders are either first-years or sophomores.

“With such a young team, I think we’ll be looking to get experience out of outdoor just as we did with indoor, focusing on what we can learn to do better in 2010,” Gleason said. “We’re going to turn some heads next year.”