The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Track & Field Athletes Smash Individual, Program Records

Colgate Athletics / Olivia Hokanson

Despite being split up between two meets this past weekend, both Colgate University mens and womens track and field teams brought home some big wins this weekend. Both teams set new program records at the Virginia Challenge in Charlottesville, Va.

The mens 4x100m meter relay team put a new Colgate record in the books with a time of 41.15 seconds. While for the women, sophomore Clare Gillis set a new program record in the 200m dash with a time of 24.08 seconds.

The Raiders also found success in Buffalo, N.Y., at the Buffalo Invitational, as both the men and women placed on the podium.

For the women, senior Carollin Mellin won gold in the 800m, while senior Katherine Wand and first-year Whitney Smith went second and third in the javelin throw, respectively. Finally, first-year Oonagh Last rounded out the podium finishes with a third-place finish in the 400-meter dash.

Meanwhile, the men brought home their fair share of wins from Buffalo as senior Henry Lewinsohn brought home a first-place win in the javelin, alongside second- and fourth-place finishes from first-years Dakin Ebmeyer and Liam Davis in the 1500m. The Raiders continued their dominance in throwing events as senior Nick Johnson captured third place in both the discus and hammer throws.

This is not the first time this season that track and field has put up successes across multiple events. Competing against Patriot League rival Bucknell University at the Bucknell Bison Outdoor Classic on the Bisons home field, the Raiders were able to walk away with multiple top-10 finishes. Clare Gillis had a memorable day, finishing in the top 10 for both the 100 and 200-meter dash. Colgate men dominated in the 800m dash as first-years Finn Kosich, Nicholas Larsen and Jack Gabrielle captured three of the top 10 sports.

Earlier this season in Utica, N.Y., for the Pioneer Spring Invite, the Raiders had a strong performance, as well. Between the men’s and women’s teams, the Raiders came home with a slew of awards, including five gold medals, five silver medals and two bronze medals. The women won gold and bronze medals in the women’s 100m hurdles off of performances from first-years Kiran George and Elizabeth Manly, respectively. George also won silver in the high jump. Her gold medal time of 14.85 seconds was an All-Atlantic Region Track & Field Conference (AARTFC) record, but it wouldn’t be the only record Raiders set at the event. 

First-year Melinda Haagensen won gold and set a record in the women’s pole vault, with a distance of 3.80 meters, while also placing fourth in the long jump. Sophomore Julianna Halliburton finished second in the pole vault, with senior Elizabeth Driscoll managing a strong fourth in the same event. Carollin Mellin took home gold for the women with a time of 4:54.93 in the 1500-meter run. Senior Katherine Wand took silver in the javelin throw, reaching a distance of 35.61m. First-years Whitney Smith and Izabella Toscano also chalked up fourth-place finishes in the javelin throw and the 400-meter dash, respectively. Overall, performance-wise, the women managed to score third in the team rankings out of a field of 17. 

On the men’s side, junior Cole Blair set the facility record for the long jump with a 7.14-meter leap. Rounding out the set of Raiders breaking records, sophomore Sam Epstein set the AARTFC record for men’s pole vault, with a towering 4.55 meter jump. First-year Jack Gabrielle took second place in the men’s 800 meters with a time of 2:00.69 and senior Nick Johnson took fifth place in the discus throw and fourth place in the hammer throw. When the day was done, the men’s team had managed a strong fifth-place team finish out of a total of 17 teams. 

Carollin Mellin commented on how it felt to see both the men’s and the women’s teams doing well and setting records.

“There’s always a lot of pride watching your teammates be successful and get a PR,” Mellin said. “It was great seeing your teammates be successful and it was also windy that day [and] cold, so even going against those conditions and being successful is a testament to the training we do and the work we put in.”

First-year Jack Gabrielle spoke about how he thinks this resilience is a sign of things to come.

“It’s getting to the point where [this success] is becoming the norm,” Gabrielle said. “The amount of talent that is on this team right now is showing big time on the track and, without a doubt, more records will continue to fall before the end of the season.”

As a senior, Mellin has watched the team grow and develop. She praised the coaching staff, including Head Coach Chelsea France, on their successful efforts in building a team with strong foundations, which are starting to pay dividends. 

“Coach France has continuously built up the program and has said that we’re making progress in the right direction,” Mellin said.  

Junior Ben Horner expressed a similar sentiment, sharing his thoughts on the overall talent throughout the roster.

“This is the best team we’ve had in a long time — over a decade, I believe,” Horner said. “Not just with our top-end talent setting records, but with the depth, as well.”

Mellin also expressed her appreciation for the coaching staff’s investment in the athletes’ mental health as a beacon for success. 

“[The coaches are] very proud of the athletes in every realm and at every level. I would imagine as a coach it’s very validating to see your athletes break facility records and be successful,” Mellin said. “Our coaches really drive home the importance of mental health and I think that has really helped the team and the culture.”

Gabrielle mentioned how this performance was, in many ways, a culmination of what the team has been working on.

“[The coaches have] been prioritizing consistency since August, and they were super content with how it went at Utica because the results have been remaining consistent with what we hope to achieve during championship season,” Gabrielle said.

The Raiders only have a few opportunities left to continue this momentum before their ultimate competition at the Patriot League Championships on May 3 and 4.

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