Desire for Greatness Fills Up Yeoman Shoes
The indoor track and field team has leapt every hurdle, run every relay, turned every corner and now stares at the season’s finish line, the North Coast Championships at Denison University. The men’s and women’s track teams have performed at the highest level this winter and expect to end the indoor season on a high with strong showings this weekend.
This past weekend at the third Oberlin Open, Oberlin again rose to prominence with a multitude of first-place finishes against good competition from Notre Dame College, John Carroll University, Cuyahoga Community College, Houghton College, Case Western Reserve University, Lake Erie Community College and the NCAC powerhouse, Allegheny College.
As has been typical of Oberlin’s track team every weekend this season, another school record was broken. Sophomore Nicky Ouellet again wrote her name into Oberlin indoor track history, this time in the mile run. Finishing in 5:12.04, she overtook fellow sophomore Maddy Davis-Hayes who only four weeks prior set the record in 5:12.46. Davis-Hayes’ record is the most recent among the many broken records of the past few weeks.
Also at the Open, the Yeomen showed off their skills in every competition. Senior John Shaw took the mile title home at a time of 4:28.65. Junior and sophomore pole vaulters Cory Myers and Kyle Taljan, respectively, went first and second, with Meyers soaring up to a height of 13’6” and Taljan elevating himself to a strong 12’0.” Taljan did come away from the Open with a win, though, helping the team in the 4 x 200 meter relay.
The team consists of Taljan, juniors Cassius Harris and Cody Hartley and sophomore Edwin Takahashi. They finished the run with a time of 1:35.52, three seconds over the second place Lake Erie. Harris also grabbed a second place finish at the long jump, propelling himself to 6.52 meters, .04 less than winner Anthony Tackett of Notre Dame College.
Ouellet was not the only Yeowoman to shine. Fellow sophomore Flannery Cerbin edged out John Carroll’s Mary Gilloon by .13 seconds in the 800-meter run, crossing the line at 2:21.92. Both Ouellet and Cerbin took away another win in the women’s 4 x 400 relay with a margin of victory of four seconds over Case Western, finishing with a time of 4:14.62. Ouellet and Cerbin, along with first-years Clara Shaw and Madeline Schultz, make up the 4 x 400 team.
Regardless of last week’s good showing, runners cannot dwell on their success too long with Friday and Saturday’s championships looming. The Yeowomen, as mentioned last week, have a strong shot at third in the championships. But the Yeomen, on the other hand, have a bit of a different story. After coming in seventh last year, they are eager to move up a spot or two.
“When I think about it, the season’s been productive,” said Myers.
Taljan, munching on his dinner next to Myers, also expressed his optimism: “We can do better than last year.”
Both members look to push each other for points and a first place finish in the pole vault, something that has yet to happen since Shean Perry, OC ’06, accomplished the feat in 2004.
Both vaulters see the possibility of first place, and as Myers most humbly put it, feels that he can score first place points “if Kyle [Taljan] doesn’t. At these heights it’s up to desire.”
Desire: it’s the brew that boils in the pit of every competitor’s stomach. Come Saturday, a hunger to achieve more success will pour out of the team and onto the Denison track, and it will be known that Oberlin will not go quietly into the night.