Track & Field Falls Short at Patriot League Championships

This past weekend, the Colgate men’s and women’s track teams headed to West Point to participate in the Patriot League Indoor Track Championships. The women’s team placed sixth, while the men’s team placed seventh. Although the teams’ scores didn’t size up with those of some of their Patriot League rivals, both teams experienced some noticeable success and began preparing for the upcoming outdoor track and field season.

The women’s team closed off a solid indoor season with several stellar performances. Bucknell took home the championship with a total of 168 points, and was trailed by Navy and Lehigh, rounding out the top-3. Colgate finished with 60 team points.

In the 200-meter dash, Colgate junior Michele Miller qualified for the final heat with a preliminary time of 26.29. In the final heat, Miller placed second with a time of 26.04, earning eight points for the Raiders. Miller’s performance in the 200-meter dash was rewarded with All-Patriot League honors in the event.

Colgate also finished tremendously in the 800-meter dash. Star senior Ashley Niness placed first in the event with a final time of 2:16.43, just edging out second-place Jess Palacio of Navy. Niness’ strong performance earned Colgate 10 points in the final standings.

Women’s track and field Head Coach Laura Nardelli called Niness’s performance “the best race of her career at Colgate.” Coach Nardelli continued her praise for Niness saying, “she is a great captain and representative for our team.”

Niness is one of several seniors who finished their final indoor track season at Colgate this past weekend. Sophomore Kendall Lyons continued her successful season, placing fifth in the final heat of the 1000-meter run and crossing the finish line in 3:00.46. Lyons’ sophomore teammate Chelsea Burns placed third in the one-mile run, finishing with a time of 5:03.14 and earning 6 team points for the Raiders.

Sophomore Elise DeRoo displayed why she was voted Patriot League Female Runner of the Year by placing first in both the 3000- and 5000-meter races. DeRoo finished the 3000-meter event with a final time of 10:00.27, and crossed the finish line in 17:24.85 in the 5000-meter race.

Colgate also continued its success in the Distance Medley event, placing first. The four-person squad, made up of Burns, Lyons, Niness and Miller, crossed the finish line in 12:16.05, more than four seconds ahead of the second-place team. Coach Nardelli also had praises for the distance medley team, noting that they are in the top dozen squads in the ECAC, out of over 100 teams in the league. She also has high expectations for the squad at the ECAC Championship in two week.

“I expect them to break the school record once again there,”Nardelli said.

In the pole vault, Alisandra Denton didn’t score any team points; however, she was able to break the Colgate school record with a 10’4″ jump. A significant portion of the women’s team will return to action in two weeks time to participate in the ECAC Championships in Boston, Massachusetts.

The men’s squad also failed to place well in the final standings at the championship, however they too demonstrated measurable success in several events. Army took home the Patriot League title with 165 points, trailed closely by Bucknell (159), who was followed by Navy (115). In the 200-meter dash preliminary heats, sophomore Grahm Tooker placed sisxth with a time of 22.67 seconds, good enough to qualify for the final heat. In the final heat, however, Tooker received a DNF. Tooker redeemed himself in the 400-meter dash, placing fifth and crossing the finish line with a final time of 50.58 seconds. The performance was enough to earn Colgate two points in the overall standings.

In the 5000-meter run, first-year Chris Johnson narrowly missed scoring team points for Colgate, placing seventh for the Raiders. Colgate picked up the majority of its points in the realy and medley events of the meet.

In the 4×400 meter relay, Colgate’s squad (senior Phil Natoli, sophomore Timothy Metivier, junior Andrew Smith and first-year Jason Hodge) placed fourth with a time of 3:27.22, good enough to earn Colgate four team points in the overall standings. In the 4×800 meter race, Colgate’s team (junior Ed Boulat, Metivier, junior Jonathan Knowlton and Smith) placed second with a time of 7:37.04. The performance earned Colgate eight points in the final standings. In the Distance Medley event, Colgate’s squad (Boulat, junior Dan Schwaibold, Knowlton and junior Dan Gleason) placed third with a time of 10:09.90, good enough for six team points.

A large portion of the men’s team will compete in Princeton, New Jersey in two weeks in the IC4a Championships.